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The works to which these remarks are prefatory were 
first issued by the PubHshers a good many years ago ; 
and although the lapse of time Vv^hich has occurred 
since their first publication might not seem much if 
it were credited to the eighteenth century, it is a long 
period in the extension of twentieth century knowledge 
and in the broadening of the modern outlook. The 
volumes therefore have received a very considerable 
overhauling. Most of the biographical essays have 
been completely re-written, and some that would be 
altogether new to the readers have been inserted. 

The work has been carried out under my editorship, 
and in the main I am responsible for the opinions that 
have been expressed ; or if in all cases I do not im- 
plicitly concur, I respect the other authors' opinions. 

But in most cases I hold opinions as herein expressed, 
hold them even emphatically, and consider them to 
be in accord with the latest extent of our knov/ledge 
on the subject. 

The little books which are preceded by this Preface 
do not go back very far — scarcely more than a minute 
of time — in human history — not even very far in the 
history which has been reckoned by the writing down 
of records, though the term " history nowadays is 
scarcely limited to this method of dating and divining 
the progress of the human race. Within the last 
twenty-five years, our knowledge as to the history of 
our species on the earth has extended enormously. 
Where it passes beyond Man's own record of himself 



it is achieved indirectly by the story we can put to- 
gether from his remains, his implements and artefacts, 
his pottery and his buildings, as well as his bony 

From a survey of the world we realise that the 
last of the great invasions of Europe by races of man- 
kind coming from Africa and Asia, and differing much 
or little from the previous European types by racial 
characteristics, skin colour, civilisation and religion,, 
ceased with the invasion of eastern Europe by the 
Turks and Tartars in the middle of the fifteenth century. 
And simultaneously, or quite a few years afterwards, 
the emxigration in research and discovery of the 
Europeans to Asia, Africa, and America began. It is 
at this time that the outlook of these books com- 
mences. It opens with the remarkable work of 
Prince Henry of Portugal in 1420, soon followed by 
the really amazing invasion of West Africa by Ca da 
Mosto, the Venetian captain-adventurer. It narrates 
the voyages of other Italian explorers, Genoese or 
Venetians in nationality. It ranges forward through 
the time of Shakespeare to the age of Captain Cook, 
to the great journeys of the middle and of the close 
of the nineteenth century, to the period, in fact, of 
my own lifetime ; for although not a very old man, I 
have met and have known personally, been trained 
and influenced by some of the giants of nineteenth 
century exploration. 

It makes me feel curiously ancient to recall the 
eagerness with which, in the opening years of the 
eighth decade of the last century, I encountered men 
like Stanley, Burton, Grant, Thomson, Schweinfurth, 
and Kirk, and discussed with them the mysteries of 
Africa, the geographical discoveries to be made, the 



natural history problems to be solved ; and to re- 
member that these discussions, more often than not, 
'took place in Africa, prior to plunges into the unknown 
to solve these secrets so obstinately withheld from 

At the close of the nineteenth century most of the 
puzzles had been solved, and the explanatory facts 
had been made known. The whole world, barring a 
patch here and there among the Arctic and Antarctic 
snows and icy mountains, in the South American and 
middle African forests, or on the Central Asiatic table- 
lands, had been mapped and examined ; all the details 
of the fauna and flora of the tropics had been displayed 
to our investigation. And the means of travel had 
been enormously increased. Motors and aeroplanes, 
ice-breaking steamers, railways and electric launches, 
had permitted scientifically-trained observers to pene- 
trate almost anywhere on the earth's surface. Now, 
then, has the time arrived to turn round and reflect 
on the story of the great European discoverers of the 
past five hundred years. 

H. H. Johnston. 




SALLE . . 




L — Sir John Hawkins. 



Those who lived in the sixteenth century lived 
in a stirring time. The steady progress of 
discovery, v/hich had begun with Prince Henry 
the Navigator, continued. The care with which 
he had trained seamen for the purpose of 
venturing over unknown seas, into lands of 
whose inhabitants, laws, customs, and character 
they were ignorant, had been well repaid. 

Portugal had become the leading trading 
nation of Europe. Her ships travelled the 
only known sea - route to India, and her 
soldiers guarded that route from interference on 
the part of other nations. 

When Spain managed to get control over 
Portugal at the close of the sixteenth century, the 
smaller of the two nations lost her importance, and 
Spain, rich with the gold and silver of the New 
World, added to her treasury by the seizure 
of her neighbour's v/ealth. But though, partly 
through the foresight of Queen Isabella, Spain 


had gained the New World, the other nations 
of Europe were not content to let her have all 
the benefit of the trade arising from the posses- 
sion of America. They thought they had a 
right to as much of the commerce as they 
tould obtain. 

As a result, expeditions were sent out with much 
/egularity to the Spanish possessions, particu- 
larly by English merchants and adventurers. 
This did not suit Spain, and gradually a 
state of warfare was established between the 
Spaniards, on the one hand, and all other 
powers engaged in the trade, on the other. 

The attempt to obtain a share of the trade 
in spices, silks, and so forth, for which India 
was famous, led to many endeavours to reach 
that eastern land by western, north-western, and 
north-eastern passages. 

India was not the only country claiming 
attention. The Spanish possessions in the 
New World were becoming better known ; but 
there were other districts to be discovered and 
settled, other huge tracts of country to be 
made a base for trading purposes. In the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth alone, many voyages 
of discovery were undertaken. Frobisher 
explored the coast of Greenland, Gilbert 
obtained a charter to colonise the Bahamas, 
and made an attempt to settle Newfoundland, 


while Raleigh endeavoured to plant a settle- 
ment in Virginia. 

Expeditions sent out from England visited 
Goa. and ravaged Jamaica ; made their way to 
Senegambia, and discovered new lands even 
near districts where the Spaniards had been 
settled for a long time. 

The French were driven from Newfoundland, 
an English expedition reached India by the 
overland route, the East India Company was 
established in 1600, and a factory erected 
at Bantam in 1602. This is surely not a bad 
record for one reign. It will be perfectly clear 
that deeds of the kind just mentioned could not 
be performed without brave men as leaders. 
And what age prior to the nineteenth century can 
boast of so many as the age of Elizabeth ? 
Such names as Frobisher, Drake, Hawkins, 
the Gilberts, Raleigh, Grenville, and Howard, 
leap unbidden to the mind. 

Many of the bravest sailors of that time 
carried on what would, at the present day, be 
called piracy ; but the piracy was justified. 
Had they not armed their vessels, they and 
all the goods they carried would have fallen a 
speedy prey to those who grumbled most 
about the iniquity of the sailors they would 
have been glad to destroy. 

Among the most daring of these sea-dogs 


was John Hawkins, whose father before him 
had followed the sea. Of many of his deeds 
we are proud even now, three hundred years 
and more since they were done. Of one of 
his actions we feel heartily ashamed, though 
Hawkins himself was not in the least prepared 
to admit that he had done wrong. It was he 
who began the English trade in slaves. 

He had made several voyages to the Canary 
Islands, and obtained information about the 
West Indies. In these islands much severe 
labour was involved in raising the various 
crops, such as sugar, and the Spaniards, who 
held the islands, were far too indolent by nature 
to dream of doing the labour themselves. 

The natives employed were not strong enough, 
and, though the Spaniards were not tender- 
hearted about the troubles of the islanders, it 
was not convenient to have a man die on 
their hands just when he might have been 
of the greatest use. 

It was thought that if stronger men could 
be procured, it would be much better, and, 
by degrees, there rose the idea of importing 
Negroes into the country. This was part of 
the information received by Hawkins about 
the West Indies, and he resolved that if Negroes 
were wanted, and would fetch sufficient money 
to cover the expense of obtaining them and 


carrying them across the Atlantic, and yield a 
fair profit, then Negroes he would obtain by 
every means in his power. 

Upon making inquiries, he learned that a 
good profit could be made, and that the black 
men could be obtained easily enough on the coast 
of Guinea. This was sufficient, and he began to 
make preparations for a voyage to the African 
coast, thus becoming the founder of the 
slave-trade in Negroes, so far as England is 

It has been said that Hawkins thought he 
was doing no wrong in engaging in this trade, 
and he was not alone in his belief, for, when 
he was knighted, his coat of arms bore the 
picture of a globe with a Negro's head chained 
to it — this device meeting with the approval of 
the queen. 

Three ships were put into commission for 
his voyage, and, lest he should be short-handed 
through sickness, he placed the best men he 
could find on board the ships. Not more than 
a hundred were chosen, as he knew that the 
more men he had the greater was the risk of 

Leaving England early in October 1562, 
he went to Sierra Leone, after touching at 
Tenerife, where the people were most kind to 
him and his crews. 


At Sierra Leone the hunt after Negroes 
began, and Hawkins tells in the coolest manner 
possible that they seized over three hundred of 
the poor black men, by rushing their villages, 
or by buying them from chiefs. 

With this cargo on board, he sailed for 
Hispaniola, or, as it is now called, San 
Domingo, where he sold the Negroes, some 
for money, but others for goods of one kind 
and another, such as hides, ginger, sugar, 
spices, and pearls. The goods received were 
sufficient to fill not only his own three ships 
but other vessels besides. 

Having sold all his slaves, he sailed round 
the north of San Domingo, and reached England 
in the month of September, 1563. 



About a year after his return from this slaving 
expedition, Hawkins started on another voyage, 
intending this time to go to the Indies. The ship 
he commanded was called the Jesus, Leaving 
Plymouth on the i8th of October, he set his 
course for Tenerife, v/here he arrived in less than 
a month. 


He did not remain there, however, as all he 
wanted was fresh water and some provisions, 
and, having obtained these, he sailed in the 
middle of November for the African coast. 

Being unable to enter the River Jeba, he went 
to a neighbouring island, where he found roots of 
various kinds, rice, palms, dates, and goats. The 
natives were strong-looking men, who filed their 
teeth and tattooed their bodies. For travelling 
by water they used dug-out canoes, that is, canoes 
made from the trunk of a tree, by digging or 
burning out as much of the wood as was not 
required. These canoes could hold twenty or 
thirty men. 

Their houses were built in orderly fashion in 
streets. They were round in shape, like dove- 
cots, and stakes interwoven with palm leaves took 
the place of walls. The roofs were thatched with 
palm leaves or reeds. 

Inside, the houses were divided into two parts 
by palm leaf matting, one part being used as a 
kitchen, and the other as a sleeping-place. The 
beds were ranged along the floor close to the 
walls in the sleeping-place, and queer beds they 
were ! A number of long sticks were placed 
side by side on supports, the bed being about 
a foot above the ground, and on these staves 
a mat was laid, another being put over the sleeper 
if necessary. 


In the middle of the town stood the Council 
House, which served for various purposes. Here 
the question of peace or war was settled, and the 
time for beginning the palm-wine harvest arranged, 
while it also served as a court of justice. 

The method of obtaining wine from the palm 
trees was curious. The top of the palm being 
cut, the sap which dropped out was caught in a 
gourd. This, being kept for some time, fer- 
mented, and was then ready for use. 

Hawkins must have been very observant ; he 
noticed lizards like newts in appearance, but much 
larger, and coloured black and blue. He noticed, 
besides, that the arrows used by the warriors were 
poisoned. The men had a peculiar way of fight- 
ing. A certain number of them, called target 
men, went with the army, and their business 
was to hold a huge target in front of three or 
four warriors, who shot off their arrows from 
behind the shelter thus formed. 

The English seaman tried to find out if the 
people had any religion, but, so far as he could 
learn, they had none. Goods were not held in 
common among them ; but anything that grew 
without having been set by the hand of man 
was regarded as common property. 

Hawkins remained among these people till 
2ist December, and then sailed for Sierra Leone, 
While here, he made an attempt to capture some 

'Vo?n an Original Oil Painting in the possession of Miss Mary W S. Hawkins, ax Hayf ir 
Hall, Buckjastleigh, Devon. 

Sir John Hawkins. 


of the black men, but completely failed, and 
he himself escaped only with great difficulty. 

It is a strange comment on the character of the 
adventurers that, while engaged in the work of 
tearing men from their native land to sell as 
slaves, they yet held a strong belief in God's 
protecting care over them. Of his escape 
Hawkins says, God, who worketh all things for 
the best, would not have it so, and by Him we 
escaped without danger, His name be praised 
for it.'* 

Leaving Sierra Leone on the 29th of December, 
he ran into a violent storm, and, shaping his 
course for the West Indies, arrived there at the 
beginning of March. The island at which he 
made a stay to obtain fresh water was called by 
him the Island of Cannibals. The natives were 
the boldest in the West Indies, and had never 
been conquered by the Spaniards. 

Continuing his voyage, he reached the 
Testigos Islands, where he was not allowed to 
trade. Word was sent of his arrival to San 
Domingo, and he left on the 20th of March. 
At Santa Fe, the natives presented him with 
bread, maize, fowls, and potatoes. This must 
be almost the first mention of potatoes in an 
English book, as the root was so little known 
that Hawkins took the trouble to describe it. 

In addition to these provisions, the people 

O.N. B 


gave the sailors pine-apples, and the seamen, 
in return, presented the natives with beads, 
glasses, knives, pewter whistles, and various 
other articles of the same kind. 

These Indians (as Hawkins calls them, though 
they are now styled Amerindians, so as not to be 
confused with the people of India), were of a 
tawny colour. Their hair was black and 
straight, and both men and w^omen went about 
almost naked. 

Like so many wild people they used poisoned 
arrows. " Their poison is of such force, wrote 
Hawkins, ''that a man, being stricken therewith, 
dieth within four-and-twenty hours, as the 
Spaniards do affirm ; and, in my judgment, it 
is like there can be no stronger poison, as they 
make it by using apples which are very fair and 
red in colour, but are a strong poison ; with the 
which, together with venomous bats, vipers, 
and other serpents, they make a medley, and 
therewith anoint their arrov/s.'' 

Leaving this island on the 28th, he ran for the 
coast of Venezuela, where he sold some of the 
Negroes he had on board. By the beginning 
of May he was at the island of Cura^oa, where 
he took on board a large number of hides. 
Cattle and sheep were so plentiful in this 
island that the seamen obtained the flesh for 
nothing, the hide, with the exception of the 


tongue, being the only really valuable part of 
the animal. 

Coming next to Rio de la Hacha, he found the 
Spaniards there a very unkindly people, but 
after a time managed to do some trade with 
them. The appearance of crocodiles and caimans 
in the river attracted much of Hawkins' attention. 
He also learned something about their habits, 
but much of what he heard was untrue. They 
lived in and out of the w^ater, and were so fierce 
and greedy that they spared neither man nor 

One of his Negroes was caught and killed 
by a crocodile, and in telling the story Hawkins 
adds what is, no doubt, amusing to us of to-day, 
but was certainly believed by the men of his 
time. The nature of the crocodile, he says, 
** is always, when he would have his prey, to 
cry and sob like a Christian body, to provoke 
them to come to him, and then he snatcheth 
at them." 

At the end of the month the adventurer left 
Rio de la Hacha, and, setting his course 
for Hispaniola, went past Jamaica and Cuba 
and on to the Florida coast. In the 
Isles of Tortugas the seamen had birds for 
food, and, having come upon some turtles, 
killed them and cooked the flesh. The taste, 
they said, was something like that of veal, but 



the turtles* eggs they did not care for nearly so 

The French were supposed to have settlements 
somewhere on the Florida coast, and Hawkins 
ranged up and down trying to find them, but 
his quest proved fruitless. 

The English sailors seem to have spent a 
glorious time while in these seas. For food they 
had the flesh of the deer, and several kinds of hare; 
they had maize and millet to make other dishes, 
and beautiful grapes were to be obtained merely 
for the trouble of plucking them. Tobacco also 
grew there, but the explorers had not yet learned 
its use. 

The country produced, in addition to these 
animals and fruits, fine forests of pines and 
cypress ; miyrrh and certain kinds of gums were 
common, while gold and pearls were also dis- 
covered. Within the woods lurked foxes, pumas, 
and pole-cats ; alligators or crocodiles were 
plentiful in the rivers ; many adders, which the 
French were said to use as food, were found, and 
strange flying fish were often seen to rise from the 

The natives lived in strong houses thatched 
with palm leaves, each house being constructed 
to hold about a hundred people. Fires were 
kept burning night and day in them, though all 
cooking was done out-of-doors, the houses being 



used only as sleeping-rooms. Fire was obtained 
by rubbing two sticks together. 

The men among the natives dressed in deer- 
skins, painted yellow and red, black and russet, 
or any other colour for which the owner had 
a fancy. Their bodies were tattooed, a thorn 
being used as a needle. They painted their 
bodies too, a light colour being put on when 
they were going to war. Their arrows, which 
seem to have been poisoned, were made of 
reeds tipped with snakes' teeth, fish bones, 
flint-stones, or knife-points. 

The women wore painted skins, though many 
had gowns made of moss so knit together as 
to form a kind of cloth. These dresses were 
worn like a surplice, and the women's long 
black hair was allowed to hang down their 
back over the dress. 

Shortly before he left Florida, Hawkins found 
the French settlf^rs, and glad they v^^ere to see 
him, as they were in sad want of food. After 
relieving them, the English captain sailed for 
England, arriving at Padstow, in Cornwall, in 
the month of September. 




Hawkins had not been home long before he 
determined upon a third voyage, and towards 
the end of the following year he set sail from 

In his previous voyages, though making much 
profit, he had undergone great sufferings ; 
but, compared with what happened on the 
voyage he was now undertaking, all that had 
gone before sank into a mere nothing. He 
himself calls it the unfortunate voyage." 

While sailing about forty leagues off Cape 
Finisterre a fearful storm arose, the fleet 
was scattered, and the Jesus^ in w^hich Hawkins 
was, seemed on the point of sinking. So great 
was the fear lest the vessel should founder, 
that, resolving to abandon the voyage, he set his 
course for England. 

However, just as he changed his direction, 
the storm abated, and the voyage was resumed. 
On reaching the Canary Islands, he was 
delighted to find that all his ships had arrived 

Having obtained water and provisions, the 
expedition sailed for the Guinea Coast, where, 



as before, the sailors hunted for Negroes. Of 
these unfortunate men a few were obtained in the 
Cape Verde Islands, but it was at considerable 
cost of life. The natives used poisoned arrows, 
which had a most peculiar effect on those who 
were wounded by them. 

Occasionally a large wound would heal 
quickly and the patient feel no ill effects. On 
the other hand, a small wound often caused 
death, even after the wound itself had closed. 
The poison seems to have produced a kind of 
lock-jaw, as the sufferers died with their mouths 
shut, being unable in some cases to open them 
for nine or ten days before death. 

Cruising down the Guinea Coast, and making 
frequent excursions ashore, Hawkins collected 
about a hundred and fifty slaves ; but the 
climate told heavily on his crew, many of whom 
were sick of fever. 

On one occasion, when they went ashore, 
an arrangement was made to take part in a 
native quarrel. One of the chiefs promised 
that, if the English would help him against 
his enemy, he would give them all the prisoners 
that might be captured. 

This was good news to Hawkins, who at 
once agreed to give his aid. A battle was 
fought, in which the Negroes and English were 
victorious. The English took two hundred 


and fifty prisoners, and the chief for whom they 
fought captured over six hundred. During 
the night, however, he stole from the camp, 
carrying the prisoners with him, and Hawkins 
was thus left with the unhicky blacks whom 
the English themselves had taken, 

Hawkins had now between four and five 
hundred Negroes, and these being as many 
as he could well manage, he left the Guinea 
Coast and steered for Dominica, in the West 
Indies, where he expected to sell his human 

Coasting from place to place in the Indies, he 
found that the Spaniards were most unwilling to 
carry on any trade with him ; and at Rio de la 
Hacha, where the pearls come from/* he met 
with a serious disaster. 

The Spaniards here were willing enough to 
take the Negroes, but were just as unwilling to 
pay for them. The governor of the town, pre- 
tending he wished to trade, tried to persuade 
Hawkins to land his slaves, but the wily 
English captain was quite as cunning as the 
governor, and refused to put them ashore with- 
out security. 

Tired of waiting about, he determined to 
attack the town, and force the inhabitants to buy 
his slaves. This attack was successful, and, as a 
result, a system of barter was set up by which 


Negroes to the number of two hundred were 
exchanged for goods of the same kind as those 
obtained on a previous voyage. Through fear 
of what might happen to them afterwards, the 
Spaniards carried on this trade secretly. 

Leaving Rio de la Hacha, Hawkins proceeded 
to Cartagena, and here, again, was unsuccessful 
in opening up trade with the inhabitants. As it 
was useless to wait, he left Cartagena and ran 
from Cuba towards Florida. 

On the way the ships were badly knocked 
about by a storm, which raged for four days. 
The Jesus sprang a leak, her upper parts had 
to be cut away, and her rudder was so severely 
damaged that it was difficult to steer her. 

With his vessel almost a wreck, Hawkins ran 
before the gale in the direction of Florida, where 
he hoped to find a haven in which to repair his 
ship and rest his men. But, to his disappoint- 
ment, no sign of a haven appeared, and the 
storm, breaking out afresh, battered and tossed 
the ships till they were barely able to keep afloat. 

Under these circumstances, he was glad to 
obtain shelter in the harbour of San Juan 
de UUoa. On his way there, he captured a trading 
vessel with passengers on board, and when he 
came near the harbour, the Spaniards, thinking 
all the ships were of their ov/n nation, allowed 
them to enter. 


Hawkins at once set the traders free, and 
obtained food from the inhabitants of the town. 
But it was now the season of the year at which 
the Spanish fleet might be expected to arrive, 
and this made Hawkins rather uneasy. 

If he allowed the fleet to come in, he would 
run serious risk of being taken prisoner and of 
having his ships destroyed. If he kept the fleet 
out, it would probably be wrecked, and goods, 
plate, and spices to the value of ;^2, 000,000 
would be lost. If this happened, the Spaniards 
would complain to Queen Elizabeth, and, rather 
than suffer her displeasure, he determined to 
allow the fleet to enter, and risk the con- 

When the Spaniards did, at length, arrive 
and anchor in the harbour, what Hawkins had 
foreseen came to pass. The newcomers be- 
haved badly to the English, many of whom were 
slain by an act of treachery while they were on 

An attack was then made on the English ships, 
but they managed to hold their own, and even 
to sink some of the Spanish vessels. When fire- 
ships were sent down upon them, however, the 
case was altered. There was nothing left for 
Hawkins and his comrades but to cut their cables 
and run. 

The MinioTij accompanied by a small ship the 


Judith^ got clear of the harbour, Hawkins being 
on board the Minion. The Jesus^ with the men 
on board of her, was left to the tender mercies of 
the Spaniards. 

During the night the Judith disappeared, and 
was never more seen. The Minion^ tossed about 
by the wild waters, was in a pitiful condition. 
For fourteen days the little vessel was wander- 
ing over the ocean, the English captain not 
daring to land, and hardly knowing where he 
could do so if he wished it. 

At length hunger drove the men to ask if he 
would put them ashore. Thereupon, Hawkins 
divided his company into those who wished to 
go ashore and those who would remain by 
him. Three hundred sailors, tired of the 
struggle for food — they were glad to eat dogs, 
cats, rats, mice, parrots, and monkeys — asked 
to be allowed to settle in some favourable spot. 
They were landed on the coast of the Gulf 
of Mexico, and afterwards suffered terribly at 
the hands of the Spaniards. 

The repairing of the Minion was hindered by 
a storm, but at length she got clear of the Gulf, 
and, sailing through the Strait of Florida, 
reached a temperate climate. The change was too 
great for the sailors in their weak condition, and 
they died off rapidly, while those who survived 
were barely able to move about. 



Hawkins, therefore, resolved to risk a visit to 
a Spanish port on his way home, so that his 
men might get rest, and obtain fresh food. 
They put in at Ponte Vedra, near Vigo, where 
fiesh meat was procured, but the supply came 
too late for the unlucky sailors, many of whom 
died shortly afterwards. 

Seeing their weakness, the Spaniards tried to 
take them prisoners, but, escaping narrowly, 
they sailed to Vigo, and thence to England, on 
January 20th, 1568, arriving five days later at 
Mount*s Bay in Cornwall. 

Of this terrible voyage Hawkins wrote, ^*If 
all the miseries and troublesome affairs of this 
sorrowful voyage should be perfectly and 
thoroughly written, there would need a pain- 
ful (painstaking) man with his pen, and as 
great a time as he had that wrote the lives ot 
the martyrs." 

It is interesting to note that the captain of one 
vessel in this unlucky fleet was Francis Drake, 
who never forgave the Spaniards for the 
treachery they displayed at San Juan de UUoa. 

Some years after this expedition Sir John 
Hawkins was placed in charge of the navy, and 
it was largely owing to him that the royal ships 
were in such good condition when they were 
called upon to meet the Armada of Spain. 
The grim old warrior played a worthy part in 



the battle, and died, respected by the whole 
nation, in 1595. 

Hawkins did not make so many or such 
famous discoveries as some other seamen have 
done ; but his daring voyages, his influence 
on trade, his fostering of the navy, and his place 
as a captain of the English fleet that fought 
the power of Spain, render him worthy of a 
high place on the roll of brave navigators. 

IL— Sir Walter Raleigh. 


Raleigh's early life. 

In Europe, and especially in England, the six- 
teenth century was an important period. The 
spirit of unrest which marked the previous 
hundred years still continued. The country was 
passing through a series of religious struggles, 
while the discoveries of Columbus and Cabot 
had left upon men's minds an impression 
the importance of which it is hardly possible 
to overstate. A New World was opened to men 
just at the time when they were learning to think 
and act for themselves, instead of depending 
upon others. The hope of trade, the desire for 
wealth, and the love of adventure, all combined 
to cause the more daring seamen to sail away to 
the West. In addition to these forces, there must 
be taken into account the existence in England, 
during the latter part of the century, of strong 
patriotism and deep-rooted hatred to Spain. 

It was during these stirring times, in 1552, 
that Walter Raleigh was born at Hayes, in 


Devonshire. The family had lived for many 
generations in that county, and had for some 
time been among the richest landholders there ; 
but Raleigh's father and grandfather had both 
been forced to sell part of their estates, so that in 
his time the family wealth was by no means so 
considerable as it had been. 

Of the boy's early education we possess little 
knowledge. At the time of the Reformation the 
religious houses had been closed, and education 
taken out of the hands of the church ; but, to 
supply the want thus brought about, grammar 
schools were established by both Edward VL 
and Queen Elizabeth. As Raleigh's name does 
not appear on the roll of any of these schools, we 
are led to believe that he was educated at home, 
and, from the opinion held of him at Oxford 
university, to which he was sent, and from the 
learning shown in his writings, it is plain that 
his tutors were men of ability, and that they had 
a willing pupil. 

At Oxford, Raleigh gained a name as a student 
of oratory and philosophy, but he did not stay 
long enough at the university to take his 

At that time, to be a soldier was one of the 
surest ways to gain honour and distinction, and 
Raleigh, seizing the chance offered him, joined 
a relative of his own, Henry Champernoun, in 


an expedition to France to fight on the side of 
the Huguenots. For five years he remained 
there, and then returned to England, where he 
studied for a short period. 

These five years of adventure did much for 
Raleigh ; he had seen something of life, he had 
come into contact with more than one famous 
man, and he had gained a useful knowledge ot 
foreign affairs, whicn otherwise he could hardly 
have obtained. The short period of quiet which 
he enjoyed upon his return to England must 
have been pleasant to him after the busy, active 
life he had led as a soldier. 

During this time he read, studied, and wrote 
poetry. In his reading he eagerly seized upon 
everything which could give him any informa- 
tion about the New World. The discoveries 
of Columbus and Cabot, the adventures of 
Cortez, and the conquests of Pizarro, he had read 
of when a lad, and now the golden lands of the 
West, painted by Spanish writers, were ever 
present to his mind. 

Mingled with visions of these rich lands, 
there may have come into his head the thought 
that England might one day hold a place in 
this wonderful New World, and vague ideas of 
planting colonies in the West may, even then, 
have been passing through his mind. 

But he was not to enjoy the pleasures of 


From the Painting by Zucchero, hy permission oj Sir 77. Lennard, Bart. 

^•N- Sir Walter Raleigh and Son. 


quiet reading for long. The Netherlands were 
fighting for their liberty against Philip IL of 
Spain, and Raleigh, feeling that he might aid 
them in their struggle, and gain honour for 
himself, joined an expedition under Sir John 
Norris, and took part in the fighting against 
the Spanish forces. 

On his return to England he was soon given 
fresh work. A rebellion having broken out 
in Ireland he was sent, with the rank of 
captain, to help in putting it down. This was 
the promotion he had been seeking, for he was 
now engaged in the queen's service. Another 
step forward was taken when he was made 
Governor of Cork. 

To Raleigh, one of the most pleasant incidents 
of his stay in Ireland was the beginning of his 
friendship w^ith the poet Spenser, whom he met 
there — a friendship that was never broken. 

Coming to Court, he soon became a favourite 
of the queen. Honours were showered upon 
him, he was knighted and made a Member of 
Parliament for his native county, the manor of 
Sherbourne in Dorsetshire was granted to him, 
and he began to make a name for himself in 
Parliament as an orator, just as he had done 
previously at the University. 

The queen had given him more than one 
mark of her personal favour, had placed, with 

O.N. C 


her own hands, a gold chain about his neck, 
and had praised his wit and ability to all hei 

But, amid all these triumphs and successes, 
there was still passing through Raleigh's mind 
the idea that America should be settled, if only 
in part, by English people, and before long he 
found an ally to aid him in putting his idea ' 
into practice, 



Sir Walter Raleigh had three half-brothers 
(his mother had been twice married), the famous 
knights Sir John, Sir Humphrey, and Sir Adrian 
Gilbert. The second of these men was as eager 
as Raleigh to plant colonies in America. Per- 
haps Raleigh even obtained some of his ideas 
on the matter from Sir Humphrey, whose 
writings had already proved one of the causes 
which led Martin Frobisher to undertake the 
search for the North- West Passage. 

There was a marked difference between the 
discoveries of the Spanish and Portuguese, and 
those of the English sailors. The vessels 
belonging to the first two countries were large 
when compared with those of England, and the 


voyages made in them were to southern lands, 
where good weather was the rule, though, 
of course, severe storms raged now and 

The English ships were tiny craft, and were 
steered to the North, where the weather was 
generally rough. Instead of the English sailors 
making their way to a land of bright sunshine, 
where gay-feathered birds had their homes, and 
where butterflies, like living jewels, flashed about, 
they sailed to the grim shores of the Northern 
Seas, where the sun's face was often hidden 
behind banks of heavy clouds, and where few 
green forests gave relief to the bleakness of the 

Many English seamen joined in the work of 
discovery, not from any hope of gain to them- 
selves, but from love of fame, and from the 
sheer joy of overcoming difficulties : that, indeed, 
was the character of the time. 

The age of Elizabeth was a glorious one. 
The queen had the gift of inspiring the nation 
with loyalty to herself ; the patriotism of 
the country was very real and earnest, and 
England was therefore stronger than ever 

Among the brave men who lived in this 
reign. Sir Humphrey Gilbert holds an honour- 
able position, and with him Raleigh joined, at 


the age of twenty-seven, in an attempt to plant 
a colony in the New World. A patent had 
been granted to Sir Humphrey in 1578, allow- 
ing him to go on a voyage of discovery to the 
West, and to take possession of any lands not 
yet settled by Christian kings or their subjects. 

The first voyage in 1579 was far from 
successful. The daring deeds of Drake had 
made Philip II. suspicious, and a sharp look- 
out was kept for the English ships. One 
vessel was lost in a fight with the Spaniards, 
and Raleigh himself only managed to hold his 
own in another action, his vessel being badly 
damaged. In spite of this he held on his 
way ; but, his supplies running short, he was 
forced to return home. This want of success, 
however, made Gilbert and Raleigh the more 
determined to fit out a second expedition which 
should not disappoint their hopes. 

Accordingly, in 1583, a fleet of five ships, 
ranging from ten tons to two hundred tons 
burden, and carrying about two hundred and 
sixty men, among them being masons, smiths, 
carpenters, and shipwrights, set out for New- 
foundland, which was reached on 30th July. 
Towards the expenses of the expedition Raleigh 
gave ;^2000, and provided a ship — the famous 
Ark Raleigh. 

To amuse the crew, and to get upon good 


terms with the savages, the ships were pro- 
vided ^* with music in good variety, not omitting 
the least toys, as morrice dancers, hobby 
horses, and May-like conceits, to delight the 
savage people, whom they intended to win by 
all fair means possible." 

On arriving at Newfoundland, Sir Humphrey 
found that the Portuguese and the French had 
already discovered the value of the fishing 
grounds on the Great Banks, where they often 
employed as many as a hundred vessels during 
the season. 

Entering St. John's Bay, possession was 
taken, in the queen's name, of the country 
for two hundred leagues in every direction 
from the landing-place. The land was 

divided among the settlers, and then Sir Hum- 
phrey Gilbert turned his attention to the search 
for gold. 

Having thus established the colony, Gilbert 
set sail in the Squirrel^ a tiny vessel of ten 
tons, and, taking with him two other ships, 
went southward on a voyage of discovery. 
One of these, the Delight^ was wrecked among 
the shoals near Sable Island, and of a hundred 
men on board only twelve escaped. Among 
those who perished was the man who under- 
stood best where to look for gold. This was 
a sad grief to Sir Humphrey ; he was eager 


to return home rich and famous, and had 
depended almost wholly upon the help of this 
person in his search for the precious metals. 

Filled with disappointment, he determined to 
return to England. As the little ten-ton Squirrel 
was not considered safe, he was asked not to 
go in her, but to sail instead in the Golden 
Hinde. Sir Humphrey refused, saying that he 
w^ould not forsake his company with whom he 
had passed through so many storms and perils. 

Off the Azores the vessels met with rough 
weather, the little Squirrel being badly knocked 
about by the storm. Those on the Golden Hinde 
saw an immense sea almost swallow her up ; but 
immediately afterwards. Sir Humphrey was seen 
sitting abaft with a book in his hand, and calling 
out, ^* Courage, my lads ! we are as near heaven 
by sea as by land.'' 

The same night the little ship went down with 
all her crew, and thus ended the life of one of 
the most gallant knights who lived in the brave 
days of Elizabeth. 




The sad fate of Sir Humphrey Gilbert only 
made Raleigh the more resolute to succeed. 
From the queen he obtained a charter allowing 
him to carry on the same work of exploration 
which had cost Sir Humphrey his life. The 
occupation by Englishmen of newly-discovered 
lands was provided for, Raleigh and his heirs 
being appointed governors, upon condition of 
paying homage to Queen Elizabeth, and hand- 
ing over to her and her heirs a fifth part of all 
the precious metals that were found. To aid 
in the progress of exploration, Raleigh and 
his youngest half-brother. Sir Adrian Gilbert, 
along with others, formed the Fellowship for 
the Discovery of the North- West Passage. 

The charter granted to Raleigh is an important 
document in the history of our Colonial Empire, 
for it marks off Sir Walter from the captains, 
who, before his time, had taken to exploration. 
Their intention was not to settle the lands they 
found, but to obtain riches, either through the 
natives, or by discovering gold and silver for 

Raleigh's aim, as shown in the charter, was 


to settle the new-found lands with people of his 
own race, who would make their homes there 
for good. In a sentence, the difference was 
that Raleigh was a coloniser, while the others 
were more or less adventurers. 

He lost no time, for, a month after the issue 
of the charter, he sent out two ships under 
the command of Captains Philip Amadas and 
Arthur Barlow, with orders to make their way 
from the South, as Gilbert had done from 
the North. 

About the middle of July they reached the 
Island of Wokoken, off the coast of North 
Carolina, which at first they took to be part 
of the continent they had come to seek. It was 
indeed a pleasant land. Many useful animals 
were found ; tall cedar-like trees and grape-laden 
vines grew in abundance, spices filled the air 
with their perfume, and grains were plentiful. 

For two days the English sailors saw no 
signs of any inhabitants, but, on the third day, 
a boat appeared in which were three natives, 
with whom they at once made friends. Having 
given them presents of cloth, they sent them 
away, and, on the next day, a chief called 
Granganimeo, a brother of the king of these 
reerions, came with numerous followers. 

The chiefs wife arrived soon after, dressed 
in a robe of deer-skin, and wearing long strings 


of pearls as large as peas. Natives and English 
became the greatest of friends, and, after barter- 
ing some of their goods for pearls and skins, 
the English persuaded two of the Indians to 
go with them to England, where they arrived 
safely about the middle of September. 

Immediately upon their arrival, Raleigh set 
about preparing a larger expedition, for the 
purpose of planting settlements in these newly- 
discovered lands, to which the name Virginia 
was given in honour of Elizabeth — the Virgin 

Early next year, a fleet of seven vessels set 
sail from Plymouth, under the command of 
Sir Richard Grenville. Several well-known men 
went with the expedition — Ralph Lane, whom 
Raleigh had appointed governor, Philip Amadas, 
the deputy governor, and Thomas Cavendish, 
the second Englishman to sail round the world, 
being among them. The two Indians, who had 
come to England upon the return of the first 
expedition, also sailed with them that they 
might tell their friends of the greatness, power, 
and riches of England. 

Nowadays we should think it strange if a 
ship carrying emigrants interfered with the 
vessels of another nation, and took them as 
prizes. This was exactly what Raleigh's second 
expedition did, for, on the way out to Virginia, 


the English ships captured some valuable 
vessels at Porto Rico. 

The state of affairs between England and 
Spain, however, made the action of the fleet 
under Grenville appear quite proper. Each 
country was suspicious of the other. Philip II. 
of Spain was thoroughly hated by Englishmen, 
and it was almost an open secret that he was 
fully determined to invade England, if he 
found a favourable opportunity. Then there 
was the question of trading rights. The 
Spaniards regarded the whole of the New 
World as being their own private property, 
near which the ships of other powers had no 
business whatever. 

English seamen, on the other hand, felt it 
their duty to prowl about the Spanish colonies, 
both for the purpose of establishing trade with 
the natives, and of striking a blow against the 
power of Spain, by destroying her settlements 
and capturing the treasures meant to enrich her 
king and pay her soldiers. 

Besides patriotism and the desire for more 
trade, the personal point of view of the sailors 
must be taken into account. The cruel treat- 
ment suffered by English seamen unlucky enough 
to fall into the hands of Spain was, in itself, 
sufficient to excite bitter hatred against that 



Many English vessels set out with the one 
aim of capturing Spanish treasure ships. Of 
this Queen Elizabeth was quite aware, and was 
glad to know it was being done, though she 
generally made a pretence of being angry about 
it. The sailors, however, understanding the 
queen's position, carried on their raids, and 
then submitted to her displeasure with all due 
humility. The emigrants sent out by Raleigh 
were men of bold and daring character, and it 
is not a matter for wonder that they should have 
seized the chance of enriching themselves and 
damaging Spain, at one and the same time. 

The fleet reached Wokoken in June, and 
messengers were sent to inform the chiefs that 
their friends of last year had come again to 
visit them. Granganimeo was received with 
honour on board the Tiger^ the mainland was 
explored for a considerable distance, and more 
than a hundred men were left under the 
command of Lane to form a colony. Grenville, 
having promised to return by the following 
Easter with provisions for the new plantation, 
sailed for England at the end of August. 

Virginia'' (North Carolina) was well suited to 
the needs of Europeans, yet the first attempt to 
colonise it proved a failure. This was due to 
several causes. The settlers were entering upon 
work which was new to them ; no others of their 


countrymen had tried that mode of life, and 
therefore they had not the experience of former 
settlers to guide them. In the second place, 
they did not understand how to govern the 
native races, by means of straightforward firm- 
ness, joined to unfailing good temper and strict 

The early colonists failed in these qualities, 
and a heavy punishment for some trifling offence 
roused a spirit of sullen discontent among the 
Amerindians. Upon this incident hung the fate 
of the plantation. A native chief was kept in 
chains as a surety for the good behaviour of 
his people, and, during his captivity, he told 
the settlers wonderful tales of a land in the 
interior, where the inhabitants were so rich 
that even their houses were covered with 
pearls. Lane, deceived by this tale, made his 
way into the interior, taking about half the 
colony with him. 

The kindly Granganimeo had died shortly 
before this, and the protecting power of his 
friendship being removed, a plot was speedily 
formed to slay all the white men in the colony. 
Lane was told of this plot during his journey, 
and returned in time to prevent it being carried 
out. The king and some of his chiefs were 
put to death for the part they had taken, upon 
which the natives, finding themselves unable 


to cope with the colonists, ceased to work in 
the fields. 

Food supplies ran short, and Easter came 
without any signs of Grenville. Naturally 
enough the colonists lost heart, and were glad 
to be taken home when the opportunity 

Sir Francis Drake was the man who helped 
them out of their difficulty. In September 
1585 he set off on his famous voyage to the 
West Indies, beginning his journey by a daring 
descent upon the Spanish harbour of Vigo, 
The furious Spaniards talked about swallowing 
up England without more ado ; but, as one 
of their own admirals remarked, England had 
many teeth, and was as ready to attack Spain 
as Spain was to meddle with her. 

Continuing his voyage, Drake reached the 
West Indies, and, having inflicted a great 
deal of damage upon the Spanish possessions 
there, began his homeward journey. Wishing 
to see for himself how the Virginian colony 
was prospering, he visited it on his way to 
England, and arrived just as the settlers had 
abandoned all hope. Seeing no hope of im- 
proving their position in the colony, they 
asked Drake to take them home, which he 
did, England being reached at the end of 


Curiously enough, they had hardly left 
Virginia, when a ship sent by Grenville (who 
had been delayed by other business) appeared 
before the settlement with provisions, and a 
day or two later Sir Richard himself arrived 
with his squadron. Though he found no trace 
of the settlers, Grenville was able to persuade 
fifteen of his men to remain in the plantation, 
and then, having given them provisions for 
two years, he sailed for the Azores. 

The arrival of Lane and his colonists in 
England was a bitter disappointment to 
Raleigh, who, however, began to plan another 
settlement. He had not the least difficulty in 
obtaining volunteers, and, in the spring of 
1587, a second band of colonists was sent out 
under Captain John White. 

On reaching Virginia they found no traces 
of the fifteen men whom Grenville had left. 
They had all been killed by the Amerindians. 
Short as the time was which had passed since 
their death, the little settlement was beginning 
to disappear beneath the rank growth of the 
semi-tropics, and the hearts of the colonists 
failed them as they gazed on the scene. Soon 
they began to quarrel among themselves, with 
the result that the second attempt to establish 
a settlement in Virginia came to nothing. 

For some little while after this no further 


efforts were put forth to establish plantations 
in x\merica, for the energies of all Englishmen 
were now bent upon defeating the schemes of 



Since the year 1583 Philip II. had been plan- 
ning an invasion of England. The causes which 
led to the struggle may be put under three heads 
— Religion, Politics, and Trade ; but these forces 
so often acted together that it is not always 
possible to determine what the effect of each 
one was by itself. 

As Philip was regarded as the leader of the 
Catholic party in Europe, while Elizabeth was 
looked upon as the head of the Protestants, most 
Englishmen were convinced that the real cause 
of the rivalry between their country and Spain 
was religious differences, and that all other 
reasons were of rnuch less importance. To a 
certain extent this view was correct ; but, as states- 
men both in Spain and England perceived, the 
struggle was one in which England was fight- 
ing for her very existence as a nation, and 
was brought about as much by politics and 
commerce as by religion. 


For nearly a century the Spaniards had held 
the key which unlocked the golden treasure of 
the West, and had forbidden other nations to 
venture near the waters of the New World. 
As a result Spain was gathering wealth very 
rapidly, both from the gold and silver brought 
home by her treasure ships, and from the trade 
established with the natives. 

Naturally, the ships of other countries dared 
the power of Spain, and sailed to the rich 
lands of the West. When captured, as they 
often were, these foreign -seamen were treated 
very cruelly by the Spaniards, and this, again, 
made their friends and fellow-countrymen eager 
for revenge. 

One result w-as that many English seamen, 
instead of sailing into the forbidden waters of 
the West, simply waited about and captured 
the Spanish treasure ships and merchant vessels 
as they crossed the Atlantic on their homeward 
voyage. As English ships would have been 
served in the same way by Spanish vessels, 
the actions of such sea-dogs as Drake and 
Hawkins, and, now and again, Raleigh, cannot 
justly be called — as Philip called them — Piracy. 

Then, Queen Elizabeth had interfered with 
Philip's plans in the Netherlands by aiding 
the Dutch in their revolt against Spanish 
authority. Again, England was a growing sea 


power, and, on that account, disliked the seizure 
of Portugal by Spain in 1580 ; and the heir to 
the Portuguese throne, Don Antonio, found a 
refuge and support among Englishmen, even 
though — and this shows how far the struggle 
was from being merely a religious one — he was 
a Catholic. 

If these things were enough to anger Spain, it 
must be borne in mind that Philip had sent aid 
to the Irish rebels, laid claim to the throne of 
England, and plotted against Elizabeth even in 
her own kingdom. In addition, there was always 
the fear that he might make himself master of the 
English Channel by fortifying the harbours of 
the Low Countries; and when, to prevent this, 
hiizabeth formed an alliance with the Dutch in 
1585, Philip laid an embargo upon all English 
ships in Spanish harbours — that is, he caused 
them to be seized, and prevented them from 
leaving the ports in which they were lying. 
This really brought about a state of war. 

Had it not been for the cautious policy of 
Elizabeth, war would have broken out much 
sooner than it did. As it was, Drake sailed to 
Cadiz and burned eighty ships — singeing the 
king of Spain's beard was the humorous way 
in which he spoke of the exploit — afterwards de- 
stroying all the fishing fleets lying between Cadiz 
and Cape St. Vincent, and thereby stopping the 

O.N. D 


supply of tunny fish needed to victual the Spanish 
fleet. This action delayed the proposed invasion 
for a year, gave England time to prepare for her 
defence, and destroyed the feeling that Spain was 
almost invincible. 

In the preparations made to resist the Spanish 
invasion Raleigh took a considerable share. In 
1586, that is, a year before Drake had singed 
the king of Spain's beard," two of his ships 
fought the Spaniards off the Azores, and, when 
it became evident that the Armada was at last on 
the point of setting out, he helped to raise the 
men of Devon and Cornwall. 

Along with Lord Grey, Ralph Lane, who had 
led the Virginian colonists. Sir Richard Gren- 
ville, and others, he served on a committee of 
defence, which made arrangements for the 
repulse of the Spaniards if they should land. 
But, though for the moment concerned mainly 
with the land forces, he placed most of his trust 
in the navy. The sea, in his opinion, must 
always be England's first line of defence"; 
and to that opinion v/e still cling three cen- 
turies after the death of him who first gave it 

The story of the defeat of the Armada is well 
known. On 24th May it set out, carrying, in 
addition to sailors and oarsmen, no fewer then 
twenty thousand soldiers, the finest infantry in 



the world. The voyage began badly, many of 
the smaller vessels being sunk in a storm off 
Cape Finisterre, the remainder putting back 
for repairs. On 12th July it sailed again, and 
a week later appeared in the Channel. 

The English ships allowed the immense fleet 
to go past them, and then hung on grimly, 
doing much damage to the Spaniards. Raleigh 
was not present at the first fight on 21st July, 
as his duties kept him on shore, but, as soon as 
it was plain that the Spaniards could not land 
off Portland, he joined the English fleet. 

Several engagements took place, but the 
Armada did not seem very much the worse, 
and came to anchor at Calais. Two men of 
Bideford, however, steered eight fireships 
among the Spaniards, who cut their cables and 
fled out to sea. The English at once stood in 
between them and Calais, and, driven by the 
west wind, the Armada had to re-form off 
Gravelines, a port of the Spanish Netherlands 
lying close to France. Here a terrible battle, 
lasting nine hours, was fought, in which the 
Spanish ships were almost completely crippled. 
Fleeing to the north-east, they met with heavy 
gales, bore round the north of Scotland, and, 
at length, reached Spain, a poor battered remnant 
of the majestic fleet that had sailed forth so 
proudly a short time before. To this defeat the 


better seamanship of the English, their fire ships, 
and the storms that overtook the Spaniards all 
contributed. But two other points are often 
missed. The first is that the English adopted 
a new plan of fighting. The Spaniards were 
accustomed to get close to their enemy and board 
him ; the English sailors, on the other hand, 
hung off, and poured in a deadly fire from their 
cannon. The Spaniards were unable to return 
this with effect, their vessels being so high that 
their fire passed over the English ships. 

The second point is that Philip kept 
complete control of the expedition in his own 
hands, just as he did in other matters. Such 
a task was too great for any one man, and, if 
Philip had but made use of the experience of 
his best seamen, the result might have been 
very different. 

Spain had done her utmost to crush England, 
and had failed. She must now suffer the 
penalty of her failure. Numerous attacks, in 
some of which Raleigh shared, were made upon 
her shipping, and, in 1589, an expedition went 
to aid Don Antonio in his attempt to drive the 
Spaniards from Portugal. Owing to mismanage- 
ment the effort was not successful. 

Among the attacks made upon the Spaniards, 
Grenville's fight off the Azores was one of the 
most notable. An English squadron, under 



the command of Lord Thomas Howard, had 
sailed for the purpose of capturing the Spanish 
treasure fleet on its return from the West 
Indies. Raleigh was to have gone, but, as the 
queen wished him to remain at court, his 
place was taken by his cousin, Sir Richard 

On this occasion the Spaniards, knowing 
what was intended, sent a squadron to protect 
the treasure fleet, and the English were caught 
at the Azores. Howard, with five ships of war, 
managed to slip away; but Sir Richard Gren- 
ville, in the Revenge^ waited till he had brought 
on board ninety of his crew who were lying 
sick on shore. 

There was now no hope of escape, and the 
Revenge turned on her foes. For several hours 
she fought the whole Spanish squadron. Her 
masts were shot away, her hull was riddled with 
shot, and the powder all used ; the weapons of 
the seamen were twisted and broken, many of 
the sick and numbers of the sailors who had 
taken part in the action were dead, while of 
the rest scarcely one was left unwounded. 

Grenville himself, though wounded in the 
head and the side, fought his ship with superb 
bravery to the last, and even wished to blow 
her up, lest, when the sailors were no longer 
able to defend her, she should be captured by 


the Spaniards. But the end came at length, 
and, as Sir Richard lay dying, the Revenge 
was surrendered. 

Grenville was carried cn board a Spanish 
vessel, where he died, declaring that he had 
done nothing but his duty. The Spaniards, 
being brave men themselves, treated the dead 
hero with the highest respect. The gallant 
little Revenge never entered a Spanish port as 
a prize, for she sank in a storm soon after hei 

When news of his extraordinary fight 
reached England, Sir Richard was blamed 
by certain people, because he had lost one of 
the queen's ships. In order to defend the 
memory of his cousin from these attacks, 
Raleigh published an account of the battle, 
^*The Truth of the Fight about the Isles of 
the Azores,*' in language the beauty of which 
places him among the best writers of English 

Grenville's gallant action encouraged the 
English to make war upon Philip at sea, and 
a fleet was got ready by Raleigh for that 
purpose. After he had set sail, a vessel, sent 
by the queen, ordered him to return, and on 
his arrival in England he was confined in the 
Tower, because he had married without asking 
Elizabeth's consent. 



While he lay in the prison, the fleet he had 
gathered together captured a Spanish ship, the 
Madre de Dios^ the cargo of which was sold for 
50,000, or at present-day value ;^750,ooo. 
Raleigh presented his share to the queen, and 
on account of this was permitted" to leave the 

He retired to Sherbourne, but his restless 
spirit would not allow him to be idle. He 
eagerly desired to regain the queen's favour, 
but, as no hope of this seemed to exist at the 
moment, he resolved to go upon an exploring 
expedition to Guiana. 



The voyage to Guiana in 1595 gives Raleigh 
a real claim to be considered as an explorer. In 
the exploration and attempted settlement of 
Virginia he had no actual personal share, 
though the work had been carried out under his 
orders ; on the Guiana voyage he did not merely 
send others^ — he went himself. He was unhappy 
at his exclusion from the court, and desired to 
regain the queen's favour. An expedition to 
Guiana seemed to offer him the chance to do this, 


as well as to enrich himself by openings up for 
England a land which had baffled the utmost 
efforts of the Spaniards. 

Concerning Guiana various tales were told. 
Far beyond its wide-spreading forests and deadly 
swamps there stood a city — El Dorado — the 
wealth of which was marvellous. Thither the 
Princes of Peru had gone when beaten by 
the Spaniards. Once a year, so the story ran, 
the prince who ruled these regions went to a lake 
where he was covered from head to foot with 
scented resin, upon which a coating of gold dust 
was placed. Then, entering a canoe, he paddled 
to the middle of the lake and threw himself into 
the water, that the offering of gold dust might 
take away the sins of his people. 

Part of this tale may have been true ; but, little 
by little, additions were made, till at last the 
gilded chief became the golden city. 

Raleigh has been blamed for having been 
led away by this legend ; but he was not the 
only one to be deceived. Numerous expedi- 
tions led by Spaniards and Portuguese had 
tried, and failed, to find the wonderful city of 
El Dorado. 

In I594» Raleigh sent Captain Whiddon, who 
had commanded the Roebuck in the fight against 
the Armada, to examine the mouths of the 
Orinoco ; but, having suffered by the treachery 


of the Spaniards, Whiddon had to return home, 
and Raleigh prepared to go upon the voyage 

The work was pushed on rapidly, and Raleigh 
put into the venture all the money he could 
gather together. He received a commission to 
do as much damage as possible to the king of 
Spain, to make settlements in lands not yet 
occupied, and to drive off by force of arms any 
who should attempt to establish colonies within 
two hundred leagues of those settlements. 

The Lord High Admiral gave a ship, the 
Lion's Whelps as his share of the expense, and 
Cecil also helped to equip the expedition. A 
letter written to Sir Philip Sidney at this time 
says : 

There is great means made for Sir Walter 
Raleigh's coming to the Court. He lives about 
London very gallant. His voyage goes forward, 
and my Lord Treasurer ventures with him ;^500 
in money. Sir Robert Cecil ventures a new ship 
bravely furnished. The very hull stands in 

On the 6th of February, 1595, Sir Walter set 
sail from Plymouth, and, on his way, captured 
some Spanish vessels at the Canary Islands. 
By March he had reached Trinidad, where he 


was joined by his life-long friend, Captain 
Keymis. Having punished the Spaniards 
for their treachery toward Captain Whiddon, 
Raleigh began the work of exploration in 

Two wherries, a light boat from the Lion's 
Whelpy and an old boat so patched up and treated 
that it drew no more than five feet of water, 
formed the expedition which was to convey up 
the Orinoco a hundred men with provisions for 
a month. 

The first guide did not know his way very 
well, but an old man, who was acquainted with 
the puzzling nelw^ork of streams, having been 
captured and kindly treated (Raleigh, like 
Drake, knew how^ to deal with natives), was of 
considerable service to them. He guided them 
through the country belonging to the Tivitivas, 
a people who, rearing no crops, lived on the wild 
fruits of the land, and on animals killed in the 

It w^as a hard journey ; the heat was over- 
powering, and only a short distance could be 
covered each day. Food ran short, though 
fruits, fish, and wild fowl were occasionally to 
be obtained. Many lost faith in the guide ; some 
were for hanging him ; but he begged them to 
keep on, and at length their spirits rose. 

One morning, at daybreak, they found the 


character of the country entirely changed. 
The dense forest growth along the banks of 
the river, linked up from side to side by a 
tangled mass of creepers, through which they 
had often to cut their way with axes, gave 
place to wide-spreading meadows. Here and 
there little woods, in which lived herds 
of deer, were seen upon the broad plains, 
wild fowl appeared in abundance, while the 
river itself swarmed with caimans. 

Journeying farther up the river, they obtained 
a new guide, the old one being sent back loaded 
with presents for himself, and carrying a message 
to the ships. 

At length the mountains of Guiana came 
into view. All this time the sailors had been 
on one of the streams forming the delta of the 
Orinoco ; now they entered upon the main 
river. The natives were friendly, and supplied 
them with bread, fish, tortoise eggs, and 
wine. A little way beyond this the inhabitants 
of the country used arrows, the tips of which 
were touched with a deadly poison. 

Sailing up the Orinoco for five days, they 
came to the port of Morequito, where a native 
chief presented them with various gifts, among 
them being the armadillo, barred over with 
small plates." Parting on good terms with 
this chief, Raleigh tried to ascend the 


Caroni (Caroli, he calls it), but the strength 
of the current proved too great. 

Leaving the boats, Raleigh, with a small 
number of men, set off to examine the falls 
of the river, of which he had heard wonderful 
reports, while Whiddon was despatched to search 
for gold and silver. 

It was near this place that they heard the 
tale of the Ewaiponoma, a tribe of men whose 
heads were in their shoulders, and their 
mouths in the middle of their breasts. The 
belief probably arose from the appearance 
given to the natives by the peculiar kind of 
head-dress they wore. 

The heavy rains and the swollen waters of the 
rivers prevented the expedition from going any 
farther, and the return jowney was begun. 
Keymis was sent overland to examine a gold- 
mine he had found, and returned with a very 
favourable report. 

During the whole of this time the expedition 
had lost only one man — a negro — who was 
killed by caimans while bathing; but Captain 
Whiddon died at Trinidad on the way home. 

While Raleigh was away, his enemies in 
England were working against him, and the 
queen still continued to treat him with cold- 
ness after his return. Most people did not 
believe the story of the discoveries he had 


made, and it was not till he wrote a book — 
The Discovery of Guiana — that popular feeling 
changed to his side. 

After a while Keymis went back to Guiana, 
and, on his return, brought word that the 
Spaniards had made a settlement at the mouth 
of the Caroni, and had forbidden any one to 
approach the gold-mine Keymis had previously 


A patriot's reward. 

Though there was no actual war at this time 
between England and Spain, it cannot be said 
there was peace, as sea-fights occurred every 
now and then. To humble Spain, and to 
prevent Philip from getting together a second 
armada, an expedition was fitted out under the 
-command of Howard, Raleigh, and Essex, for 
the purpose of making an attack upon Cadiz. 

In June 1596, the English fleet entered the 
harbour of that town, and did serious damage 
to the shipping, sinking no less than thirteen 
men-of-war, blowing up the fortifications, and 
destroying the stores. In this expedition 
Raleigh did excellent service. 

Though Raleigh shared in the attack upon 


Cadiz, he had not yet been forgiven by the 
queen. At the beginning of April 1597, how- 
ever, news reached England that Philip II. 
was preparing yet another Armada to invade 
England, part of his plan being to place one of 
his daughters on the English throne. A fleet 
of one hundred and forty ships was at once 
raised, the command being given to Essex, with 
Howard as second, and Raleigh next in order 
as leaders. 

Elizabeth now forgave Raleigh and received 
him at court before the expedition sailed. 
Relying upon what proved to be false in- 
formation, Essex made his way to the Azores, 
and, through bad management, allowed the 
Spanish Plate-Fleet to slip past him and reach 
Spain in safety. Having missed the object of 
their search, the English vessels returned 

On the very day the English ships began the 
return voyage, a Spanish fleet left Ferrol to invade 
England. Exactly the same thing happened 
in the case of this armada as had happened to 
its famous namesake. Reaching the Channel, 
the flotilla met with contrary winds, and the 
ships parted company with one another. They 
failed to come together again, and each, on its 
own account, returned to Spain. 

During the later years of Queen Elizabeth's 


reign, Raleigh's enemies turned James VL of 
Scotland (the heir to the throne of England) 
against him, and when James came to England 
on the death of the queen in 1603, he showed 
little Ukmg tor the brilliant man whose nature 
was so different from his own. 

The miserable character of James might be 
passed over in silence, but for its effect upon 
Raleigh. Awkward and shambling in his gait, 
and wearing his clothes padded in order to 
avoid possible dagger strokes, James was the 
very opposite of his handsome English 

The learning which Raleigh possessed was 
deep, and was the result of hard study ; that 
of James was all on the surface; and, while the 
knight made no vulgar parade of his know- 
ledge, the king never tired of doing so. 

Raleigh was not by any means the man to 
enjoy the company of fools, and his happi- 
ness in the presence of the wisest fool in 
Christendom " could not have been great. He 
must have had a hearty contempt for the mean- 
spirited man who, almost without protest, 
suffered his mother to be put to death, merely 
because he wished to inherit the throne of the 
queen responsible for the execution. 

It was not long before these two men came 
into conflict. Raleigh was arrested in 1603, 


and charged with treason on evidence supplied 
mainly by a man called Cobham, who after- 
wards confessed that his statements were untrue. 
The trial was conducted with great brutality, 
and in this the lawyer Coke distinguished 
himself. **Thou hast an English face, but a 
Spanish heart,*' he said to the unfortunate 
Raleigh. This to a man whose whole life had 
been governed by the deepest hatred of Spain ! 

Many years previously, Raleigh wrote these 
w^ords : 

Let not therefore any Englishman, of what 
religion soever, have other opinion of the 
Spaniard, but that those whom he seeketh to win 
in our nation he esteemeth base and traitorous, 
unworthy persons, or inconstant fools.'* 

And this was the man who had a Spanish 
heart ! 

Raleigh was found guilty of being a traitor, 
and sentenced to death. The judgment was 
not carried out at once, however, and the 
unfortunate knight was kept in the Tower for 
twelve years. Prince Henry was much annoyed 
that his father should treat Raleigh in this cruel 
manner. Would any one but my father keep 
such a bird in a cage?" he asked in anger. 

It has been mentioned before that, though 
Raleigh was a favourite among the people of 
Devon, he was not well liked by most of those 



who lived in and around London. But, during 
his long- confinement in the Tower, almost 
everybody regarded him as one who was being 
unjustly treated by the king. 

By means of bribes paid to the king's unworthy 
favourites, he was set free at the end of January 
1615. He did not receive real liberty, however, 
his movements being constantly spied upon 
by orders of the king. 

In 1617 Raleigh was allowed to go out to 
Guiana in order to work the gold-mine dis- 
covered on his first visit to that country. 
Guiana was now in the hands of Spain, 
and the Spanish ambassador in England 
offered Raleigh a passport if he cared to accept 
it. Sir Walter refused, because, on his first 
voyage, he had claimed the country for England, 
and if the Spaniards were then in possession, 
they really had no business there. If, then, 
he had accepted the passport, he would have 
admitted that the Spaniards had a right to 
the district of Guiana — which he certainly did 
not mean to do. 

Into this new venture Raleigh put ^10,000, 
while others who joined him added three times 
as much. When the expedition reached Guiana, 
the landing of the Englishmen was opposed by 
the Spaniards, and in a sharp action Raleigh's 
son was killed. Frantic with grief. Sir Walter 


blamed his old friend, Captain Keymis, as being 
the cause, and Keymis, unable to bear his 
leader's rebuke, took his own life. 

At this time James L wished to conclude an 
alliance with Spain, and the Spanish ambassador, 
aware of this, saw an excellent opportunity of 
getting rid of Raleigh. He informed James that 
Spain was much displeased with Sir Walter 
on account of his actions in Guiana, and the 
mean-spirited king, afraid that his own plans 
would come to nothing, offered to hand over the 
gallant explorer to the Spaniards to deal with 
as they might think fit. 

This, however, did not suit the Spaniards, 
who left James to do the work himself. When 
Raleigh returned home, therefore, he was seized 
and put in prison, not on a new charge, but on 
the old one on which he had been placed in the 
Tower at the beginning of the king's reign. 

A fortnight later the end came. That he 
might leave his affairs in better order, Raleigh 
asked for a short respite, and was refused. 
About nine o'clock on the morning of 29th 
October he was summoned to execution. On the 
scaffold he spoke with a clear voice, declaring 
himself to be innocent of the crime laid to his 
charge, and, kneeling down, asked the assembled 
people to pray for him. Then, while his lips 
still moved in prayer, he laid his head on the 


block, and in two strokes of the axe it fell. 
Not a shout greeted the showing of the head 
by the executioner ; the people were horror- 
istricken, and turned away in silence. The 
first man who trusted himself to speak cried 
out, We have not such another head to be 
cut off!^' 

Thus perished at the age of sixty-six a great 
man, not only of his own time but of all times. 
Whether we think of him as a scholar, states- 
man, soldier, sailor, explorer, patriot, philo- 
sopher, poet, captive, or friend, we find some- 
thing to admire in his character. The jealousy 
of his rivals, and the ill-will of a petty-minded 
monarch embittered the last fifteen years of 
his life ; but his name is now mentioned with 
honour, while theirs is in many cases almost 
or altogether forgotten. 

He has come to be regarded as the type of 
the better qualities of the men of his time, 
while they represent the meaner spirits. Among 
those engaged in the work of exploration 
during that age he holds a distinguished place, 
as he was probably the first who thought of 
establishing an English-speaking race in the 
New World. His endeavours to plant colonies 
in Virginia, and his exploration of the Orinoco 
will give him a lasting place in the story of 
the growth of the British Empire. 

III. — Rene Robert Cavelier, 
Sieur De La Salle. 

The famous La Salle, who explored so much 
of the American continent, was a member of 
a wealthy merchant family at Rouen. When 
twenty-three years of age he emigrated to 
Canada, where the superior of the seminary of 
St. Sulpice granted him a large tract of land 
eight or nine miles above Montreal. 

He had not been long in Canada before his 
imagination was fired by the tales he heard from 
the Amerindians of a great river called the Ohio, 
(probably the Mississippi) which flowed into the 
sea at a distance of eight or nine months' journey 
from the place where they then were. 

It struck La Salle that this might prove to 
be the long-sought Gulf of California, and 
that the northern waterway to China was on 
the point of being discovered. This was too 
good an opportunity to let slip, and the young 
man determined to make the attempt himself 
if he could obtain any help towards the 
expenses of an expedition. 

He therefore spoke to Courcelles, the governor 
of New France, and found him strongly in 



favour of the proposed expedition. He granted 
La Salle letters patent permitting him to carry 
on explorations in the neighbourhood of the 
river mentioned. 

But there was still considerable difficulty in 
front of the would-be explorer. He was not 
by any means a rich man, and, in order to 
raise funds for the expedition, he was forced 
to sell the land he held near Montreal. 

With the proceeds he bought four canoes, and 
obtained the services of fourteen men. Just at 
this time another expedition was being sent to 
the Amerindians by the missionaries working in 
Canada. La Salle joined it, and the two bands 
set off together, their combined forces amounting 
to seven canoes and twenty-four men. 

They first ascended the St. Lawrence about 
the middle of the year 1669, and, passing 
through Lake Ontario, met the explorer Joliet 
returning to Canada after one of his expeditions 
into the interior. From him they obtained 
maps of the northern lakes, and were told such 
a tale of the ignorance and spiritual wants of 
the Indians of that district that the missionaries 
under Dollier De Casson resolved to go to 
them at once. 

This, of course, weakened La Salie's party, 
but he did not give up on that account. After 
all, his expedition was no smaller than he had 



expected it to be at first. He therefore parted 
from the missionaries, and for two years 
explored a great deal. Unfortunately, we do 
not know exactly what he did during those 
years, as all the letters and papers relating to 
his journeys have been lost. 

We do know a little about them, however. 
He turned south-east from Lake Erie, and 
reached a branch of the Ohio River, which he 
followed as far as Louisville Rapids. It is 
quite possible that he went down the stream 
till it joined the Mississippi, and if so, it was here 
that his men deserted him. Even this did not 
damp the courage of La Salle, and, with grim 
courage, he made the best of his way back 
to Lake Erie alone. 

By the year 167 1 he was preparing another 
expedition, of which, as in the case of the first 
one, we have not very much information. Going 
up the Detroit River, he passed on to Lake 
Huron, and thence to Lake Michigan. Then, 
crossing the portage near where Chicago now 
stands, he went down the Illinois River, and 
may have gone as far as the Mississippi. He 
returned to Canada before 1673, and, laying 
before Count Frontenac the results of the 
expedition just completed, proposed that a 
fresh journey should be begun at once for the 
purpose of exploring the Mississippi. To this 



Frontenac agreed, but thought it better to 
wait a little till La Salle had rested after his 

Feeling that the explorer deserved some re- 
ward for his enterprise, Frontenac gave him 
lands in the West, near to where the town of 
Kingston now stands, A rich fur trade was 
possible in that district, and La Salle was 
granted the monopoly of it. 

In 1674, and again in 1677, Frontenac sent 
La Salle to France that he might push his 
fortunes at court. On his arrival in the land 
of his birth, he was received with favour, and 
was granted letters patent to explore, at his 
own cost, the district in which he was interested, 
provided that the whole survey was completed 
within five years. He was also to build forts, 
and to establish a monopoly in bison skins, 
in order to pay himself for the expenses of his 
expeditions. As La Salle had not money 
enough to begin such an undertaking, the first 
thing he did was to raise funds. This was not 
difficult, and soon he sailed for Canada with 
thirty men, and material enough to make a 
start with his new expedition. 

In November 1678 La Mothe Cadillac had left 
Fort Frontenac with seventeen men in a vessel 
of ten tons, and reached Niagara River, where 
he built a fort. By this time La Salle had 



reached Canada again, and, going in the same 
direction as La Mothe Cadillac, joined him at 
the fort at the beginning of 1679. Not long 
afterwards their vessel was wrecked ; but the 
explorers set to work to build another, which 
they named the Griffon. Though their stores 
had been saved from the wreck, they had 
not enough to keep them in comfort, and La 
Salle set off for Fort Frontenac. Leaving 
Lake Erie, he journeyed to Lake Michigan, 
where the Griffon was laden with furs, and 
sent back to La Mothe Cadillac. Probably 
she was wrecked, as she was never heard of 

With four canoes and seventeen men. La Salle 
now sailed up the west shore of Lake Michigan, 
while his lieutenant took the east side. They 
met at the Miami, or St. Joseph River, at the 
south-east corner of the lake, where they built 
a fort. 

Then proceeding up the St. Joseph River, they 
reached a tributary of the Illinois River, where 
they found a village of Amerindians, containing 
four hundred and sixty lodges. Farther on they 
came upon another, where La Salle learned of 
attempts that were being made by the fur traders 
and the Jesuits to prevent him carrying out his 
plans, and even to kill him if no other way of 
attaining their object was possible. 



At this point in the journey several of his 
men deserted, but the explorer determined to 
go on with the work he had taken in hand. 
A fort, which he called Fort Crevecceur, was 
soon constructed, and a vessel of forty tons 

Leaving Tonti or Tonty (an Italian, possibly), 
his lieutenant, in charge of the fort. La Salle with 
four men proceeded to Fort Frontenac in order 
to obtain fresh stores. A great disappointment 
awaited them on their arrival, dishonest agents 
having plundered the stores and stolen the goods 
that had been left there for safety. 

To make matters worse, while La Salle was 
away, Tonti's men mutinied, and deserted him, 
and the leader, on his return, at once set out to 
look for his lieutenant. It was a difficult business, 
as he was unable to obtain any information as 
to the direction Tonti had taken. The difficulty 
was made greater from the fact that the Amer- 
indians, having invaded Illinois, had left it in a 
state of utter ruin and waste. 

In the search for his friend. La Salle went 
down the Illinois River till he came to the Mis- 
sissippi, but having heard no news of Tonti, 
he was obliged to return to Fort Miami. In the 
meantime, Tonti had gone down the west side 
of Lake Michigan to Green Bay. 

It now entered La Salle's mind that by 



forming a league of all the Amerindians in the 
district, under his leadership, he would be able 
to increase, to an enormous extent, the trade 
which he was already carrying on with them, 
and, in addition, would, by this means, keep 
the Iroquois from repeating the damage they 
had already worked in the settlements. 

Finding the Amerindians of the West in favour 
of the idea, he spent the spring of 1681 travelling 
among them in order to gain their good- 
will, and to explain to them exactly what he 

Soon after, he rejoined Tonti, and, that he 
might carry on the work of exploration, went to 
Fort Frontenac to obtain supplies. Frontenac, 
the governor, was strongly in favour of the 
plans which La Salle was seeking to carry out, 
and another expedition was set on foot. 

In the month of December, La Salle crossed 
the Chicago Portage to the Illinois, the course 
of which he followed on sledges as far as 
Lake Peoria, from which place he floated 
down to the Mississippi, reaching that river 
at the beginning of February 1682. Continuing 
his journey, he passed the mouth of the 
Arkansas River, and, farther down, the mouth 
of the Red River, where he took possession 
of the whole country in the name of the king 
of France. 



By the beginning of April the party had 
reached the delta, where La Salle divided his 
expedition into three, each of the bands taking 
a separate branch of the delta. Three days 
later they met at the mouth of the river, 
and the explorer, having erected a monument in 
honour of the occasion, and a cross, bearing 
the arms of France, proclaimed that the 
river and all the lands drained by it were 
the property of the French, by right of 

Louis XIV. of France ought to have been 
grateful to his subject for the vast dominions 
thus added to his possessions, but it is not 
very probable that the king gave much thought 
to the man who had made the discovery ; 
however that may be. La Salle is honoured 
now as the explorer who first traced the waters 
of the mighty river from its upper reaches to 
its mouth. 

The thought at once occurred to him that this 
fertile district through which he had passed 
would make an excellent country for Frenchmen 
to settle in, and he immediately began to form 
plans towards that end. Sailing up the river 
again as far as the Illinois, he there built a fort, 
called Fort St. Louis, intending it as a centre 
round which the Amerindians might live. 
His hopes were not disappointed, as about 



twenty thousand natives built their lodges in 
the neighbourhood. 

But the expedition was a long way from 
Canada, to which parties had to be sent for 
supplies. By this time, Frontenac, who had 
been so good a friend to La Salle, had returned 
to France, his place being taken by another 
Frenchman named De la Barre. Now, De la 
Barre was a greedy man, and looked on the 
monopolies held by La Salle as something 
which ought to belong to him, as governor. 
The result was that he seized Fort Frontenac, 
and, sending an officer to take La Salle's place 
at Fort St. Louis, ordered the explorer to 
return to Canada. 

La Salle did so, but, as soon as he could find 
a ship going to France, he embarked in it, and, 
on his arrival in that country, immediately went 
to the king, before whom he laid his case. At 
Paris, his plans for colonising the basin of the 
Mississippi met with approval, and a letter from 
the king was sent to De la Barre, ordering him 
to restore all he had seized from La Salle. 

Four vessels were provided for the explorer 
in order that he might go straight to the 
Mississippi from France, instead of having to 
visit Canada in the first place. 

In July 1684, he left La Rochelle, the fleet 
being in command of Captain Beaujeu, with 



whom the explorer did not agree at all well. 
When they arrived at the Gulf of Mexico, there 
were so many inlets and lagoons at the place 
where La Salle expected to find the mouths of the 
Mississippi that he became confused. He knew 
the latitude but not the longitude of the river 
mouths, and even after a careful search, was 
unable to find them. This was sufficient to 
cause a quarrel between him and Beaujeu. 

The explorer landed his men at Matagorda Bay, 
thinking he had arrived at the mouths of the 
Mississippi, and Beaujeu sailed for France, 
reaching Rochelle in July. 

By this time La Salle, having discovered his 
mistake, had established a colony on the Lavaca 
River. Leaving Lieutenant Joutel in charge, 
he set off in October, 1685, to see whether he 
could not find the mouths of the river he had 
so strangely lost. He continued the search for 
nearly half a year, and then returned. 

In April 1686, he tried to reach Canada* 
but failed. He made a second attempt in the 
beginning of 1687, but this also was unsuccess- 
ful. The colony was now in a bad way ; of the 
hundred and eighty men who had been there 
at first, not more than forty-five were left. This 
was serious enough, but to add to the difficulties 
crowding in upon La Salle, the survivors were 
discontented, and rose in mutiny. 



Some of them laid an ambush for their leader, 
and the gallant explorer was shot. Most of the 
mutineers joined the Amerindians ; the few who 
remained loyal set off with Lieutenant Joutel, 
and, in course of time, reached one of the forts 
built on the Arkansas River by Tonti. 

The murder of La Salle in 1687 was a loss 
to the cause of civilisation. He had done good 
work, and was so young a man at the time that 
he would almost certainly have done even more 
important service, in increasing the knowledge 
of the geography of North America. 

IV. — William Dampien 



In dealing with the life of Sir John Hawkins, 
we saw that the Spaniards did their best to 
prevent the ships of any nation, other than 
their own, trading with their western possessions. 
This was meant to keep the whole trade in 
their own hands. In reality, its effect was 
to draw attention very strongly to the vast 
profits that might be made in the Spanish 
colonies, if it were possible to get into touch 
with the inhabitants. 

This gave rise to a system of underhand 
trade, and of smuggling, to which the Spaniards 
in the West were quite willing to give their 
best aid, but secretly, lest they should be 
punished by the authorities. The result of 
this, again, was to increase very largely the 
number of ships seeking trade in those 

Then a difficulty arose. When Spanish war- 
ships found any of these smuggling craft in 


forbidden waters, they seized them, while 
their crews were punished without mercy. If, 
then, the trade were to be carried on, it was 
necessary that the vessels going out to the 
Spanish possessions should be armed in order 
to resist arrest. It was thus but a short 
step from the smuggling vessel to the armed 

The arming of the trading vessels had the 
result of turning many of them from simple 
merchant vessels — even if they did break the law 
— into ships which became little better than pirate 
craft. To the men who formed the crews of 
these vessels the term buccaneers is applied. 

Going back again to the time of Hawkins, we 
find that in certain of the West India Islands there 
were vast herds of cattle. One of these islands 
was Haiti or San Domingo. The cruelty of the 
Spaniards to the natives had left that island with 
very few inhabitants, and the cattle, being un- 
disturbed, increased to a very large extent, roam- 
ing over the deserted tracts of the western districts. 

Haiti (Hispaniola), on this account, gradually 
came to be the regular stopping-place for ships 
in need of fresh meat, and soon a small body of 
men gained a living on the island by killing and 
dressing the cattle, and supplying meat to the 
foreign ships which passed that way. The 
method of preserving the meat was peculiar 

William Dampicr. 


When the animal was killed, the flesh was 
placed on hurdles raised a few feet above a 
fire, and thus dried and half smoked. 

This method of dressing their food was 
employed by the Caribs, and both the meat 
thus prepared and the apparatus used for 
preparing it were called bukan. The men 
who took up this trade of slaughtering the 
cattle, adopting the native name, called 
themselves buccaneers. This looks confusing 
at first, as it is seamen of whom we think 
when using that term. Really the matter is 
simple enough. The smuggling vessels, which 
cruised at first about the Islands, came for 
a free trade with the inhabitants, and the crews 
called themselves freebooters. 

Naturally, there was a close connection between 
buccaneer and freebooter : each was necessary 
to the existence of the other. In some cases, it 
is true, the buccaneer and the freebooter were 
combined in the one person ; but, as a rule, they 
were distinct. 

In course of time, the buccaneering trade fell 
into the hands of Frenchmen, while the free- 
booters were, for the most part, English. With 
rather a humorous turn of mind the two sets of 
men each adopted the name of the other, the 
buccaneer, or preparer of bukan, becoming the 
buccaneer as the term is generally understood, 

O.N. F 


while the real buccaneers called themselves 

The buccaneers (in the new sense of the 
term) had strange customs, which were regarded 
among them as having the force of law. They 
were wild, ill-living men, enemies to all except 
their own class, and, as a result, had to depend 
to the uttermost on each other's fidelity. 

In some cases, all goods captured w^ere 
divided among the whole crew equally, that is, 
the goods were held in common. Carelessness 
in dress, even dirtiness, was considered by many 
of the buccaneers as the proper state in which 
desperate men like themselves ought to live. 

The crews of these ships belonged mostly to 
one nation, and, when that nation was at war 
with any power, the buccaneer often became 
respectable, received a commission from his 
government, and appeared in all his glory as a 
privateer, in which position he was able to 
behave just as when he was a buccaneer, but 
with the advantage of having a government 
commission to safeguard him. 

The doings of the buccaneers in the Spanish 
West Indies, and the increase in their numbers, 
were looked upon with much favour by every 
state in Europe except Spain, as they might profit 
by the illegal proceedings of these sailors, while, 
on the other hand, they were not called upon to 



protect them. In addition to this, the presence 
of the buccaneers in Spanish territory caused that 
nation to spend money in order to keep them 
down, which prevented her from moving against 
other European powers as otherwise she might 
have done. 

Gradually the buccaneers increased in strength, 
and began to band themselves together. Cap- 
turing the island of Tortuga, off the north-east 
of Cuba, they made a settlement there, but, 
being surprised by Spanish troops, those on the 
island were hanged without mercy as pirates. 

The buccaneers now saw that they must act 
together, and without a leader or leaders such 
action was impossible. In 1654 ^ party of them 
marched across the country to New Segovia, 
having ascended the Mosquito River in canoes. 
They plundered the town and returned in safety. 
Courage and conduct being the only titles they 
acknowledged as claims to rank, their leaders 
were all men noted for personal bravery and 
daring deeds. 

Among these leaders, one of the most terrible 
was Henry Morgan, a Welshman, who, be- 
ginning with a small body of men, so roused 
the admiration of his comrades that, at one time, 
he had under him a fleet of thirty-seven well- 
armed vessels, with crews to the number of two 
thousand men 




The force of ships and men which Morgan com- 
manded caused him to make an attempt to 
capture the town of Panama. A journey of nine 
days brought him within sight of the city, and 
after a hard struggle he mastered the Spaniards, 
who were put to death without mercy, neither age 
nor sex being spared. Some of the inhabitants 
tried to escape by taking shelter on the islands 
in the Bay of Panam^, but Morgan sent a large 
boat in pursuit, and, like their friends in the city, 
they suffered death at the hands of the victorious 

Several ships were captured, one of which 
seemed well suited for cruising, and, as this 
opened up a new way of living, several men tried 
to desert after having seized this boat, their plan 
being to plunder as much as possible in the 
South Seas, and then sail for Europe with their 

Morgan, however, was wide awake, and the 
attempted desertion did not take place. From 
Panama he brought six hundred prisoners (some 
of whom he compelled to carry burdens down 
to the coast) and a hundred and seventy-five 


mules laden with valuables. On the principle of 
" set a thief to catch a thief/' Morgan was, some 
years later, knighted and made governor of 
Jamaica, where he distinguished himself by his 
severity towards his old comrades. 

In April 1680, a party of three hundred and 
thirty-one buccaneers, most of them English, 
among whom was William Dampier, marched 
across the Isthmus of Darien. At Santa Maria 
they embarked in canoes and a small vessel 
which lay near the town, and began their career 
of plunder in the South Seas. 

Capturing several vessels, they abandoned their 
canoes and embarked in the richly-laden prizes. 
Closely examining the coast at Panama, and 
finding nothing to keep them there, they laid 
their course for the coast of Peru, and touched at 
the island of Juan Fernandez. Wlrile there, 
several sail hove in sight, and the buccaneers 
believing them to be Spanish men-of-war, left in 
hot haste. 

In their hurry it happened that a Mosquito 
Indian, named William, who was on shore, had 
to remain behind, though this is, perhaps, not 
the first example of a single individual being left 
on that island. 

Steering to the south, the buccaneers captured a 
vessel, the San Rosario^ laden with wine, brandy, 
fruit, and oil, and as much money as gave the 


captors ninety-four dollars each. Besides the 
goods taken out of the San Rosario were seven 
hundred pigs of silver, most of which, as the 
men believed the metal to be tin, was left in the 
ship when she was turned adrift. When they 
arrived at Antigua their disgust must have been 
very great, for a goldsmith declared the metal to 
be pure silver. The buccaneers had lost fully 
five thousand pounds by their haste. 

In their next voyage they called at Juan 
Fernandez, where they found William, the 
Mosquito Indian, still alive. He had been on 
the island alone for more than three years. The 
clothes which he had worn on landing were com- 
pletely destroyed, and he had dressed himself 
in goatskins. He had also built himself a hut, 
which was lined with goatskins. 

When first left on the island, he had a musket, 
a horn of powder, some shot, and a small knife. 
When his powder was finished the musket was 
useless, and he would have been badly off for 
weapons, had he not notched his knife and, by 
its means, cut the barrel of his musket into 
pieces, with which he made tips for arrows, 
lances, and harpoons, as well as a long knife 
and some hooks. 

After visiting the Galapagos Islands, where 
they found plenty of green turtle, the buccaneers 
split into two divisions. Eaton, in the Nicholas^ 


leaving Davis, sailed for the East Indies; 
Captain Swan, in the Cygnet^ accompanied by 
many experienced sailors, including Dampier, 
steered towards the north-west, along the coast of 
New Spain, hoping to capture some vessels from 
Manilla, as well as to obtain rich plunder on 

At St. Pecaque the Spaniards fell on them, 
and the buccaneers suffered the worst defeat they 
had yet received in the South Seas. More than 
fifty Englishmen were killed, as well as some 

To follow this expedition from start to finish 
would not make pleasant reading, as it is a tale 
of cruelty and bloodshed. Of one thing, how- 
ever, mention may be made. In the course of 
the voyage the vessels touched at New Holland, 
whose inhabitants, according to Dampier, were 
the most miserable creatures on earth. 

**The Hottentots," he wrote, compared with 
them, are gentlemen. They have no houses, 
animals, or poultry ; their persons are tall, 
straight-bodied, thin, with long limbs ; they have 
great heads, round foreheads, and great brows. 

They have bottle noses, full lips, wide 
mouths ; the two fore teeth of the upper jaw are 
wanting in all of them; neither have they any 
beard. Their hair is short, black, and curled, 
and their skin coal black, like that of the negroes 


in Guinea. Their only food is fish, and they 
consequently fish for them at low water ; and 
they make little weirs, or dams, with stones, 
across little coves of the sea/* 

Dampier left the Cygnet at the Nicobar Islands 
and returned to England, where he arrived in 
1691. He was afterwards sent on a mission of 
discovery in the Roebuck^ a ship of the Royal 
Navy, in which he visited New Holland a second 
time. His description of kangaroos, which he 
now saw for the first time, is pretty accurate. 
The natives were not afraid even when he fired 
his musket at them, and it was not until he had 
shot one that they learned to treat him with 

On the way home, the Roebuck was wrecked ; 
but that was not Dampier's fault, as the vessel 
was old and not very seaworthy. However, he 
finished the business upon which he had been 
sent by the government. 

He afterwards took part in privateering ex- 
peditions, but seems to have been more 
successful as a pilot than as a commander. 
Indeed, he was tried for his ill conduct towards 
one of his lieutenants ; and one of his sailors 
accused him not only of cruelty and drunken- 
ness, but of cowardice, which can hardly be 
true of an old buccaneer. 

In 1707 he was back in England, a broken 


man. His Vindication^ which he published, 
did him little good ; but he obtained a pilot's 
place in a privateering expedition, and returned 
in 171 1 after a lucky voyage. He died in 
London in 1715. 

In 1697 he had published his Voyage Round the 
World \ but it is not as a writer of travels that 
he will be remembered. His long career of 
pillage and plunder in Southern Seas, and 
his voyage to New Holland, are the parts of 
his life which remain in the history of 
geographical discovery. 

If the story of the buccaneers makes sad 
reading in places, let it be remembered to 
their credit that their daring voyages did 
much to extend our knowledge of vast 
tracts of land and sea hitherto unknown to 
the majority of men. 

V. — Captain Vitus Bering. 



At the beginning of the sixteenth century 
Russia was not much more than an inland 
kingdom. It is, of course, true to say that she 
had a northern coast, but that, owing to its 
position, was of httle use. The arrival of 
Richard Chancellor at Archangel in 1553 was, 
to the Russians, an event of the greatest impor- 
tance, and the trading rights given to him 
by the Tsar were meant to reward him for his 
discovery of the passage between those northern 
seas and the Atlantic Ocean. 

If Russia had been in a fit condition to profit 
by the discovery, she might have made much 
progress in trade ; but the country was far too 
feeble to undertake sea voyages. Even so late 
as the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
the northern coast of Siberia, beyond the River 
Yenisei, was unknown to the Russians, though 
hunters and other adventurers had travelled 
through the interior. 


Gradually Siberia came under the sway of the 
Tsars, and, following upon this, an advance 
was made to China. The Russian entry into 
the Chinese Empire was not effected without a 
struggle. The Chinese fought bravely, and, as 
they became acquainted with the use of firearms, 
held their own fairly well against the invaders, 
with whom, in 1689, they concluded a treaty. 

After the signing of this treaty, trade rapidly 
increased between Russia and China, and 
was further developed by the efforts of the 
famous Tsar, Peter the Great. 

Peter was born in 1672, and, ten years later, 
became Tsar. Till his time Russia had been 
very far behind in civilisation, but, though 
himself in many respects rough, brutal, and 
even uncivilised, Peter was determined that 
his country should not remain in its backward 
state. He therefore sent out to Pekin, in 1692, 
a Dutchman who was in his service. 

This Dutchman, Isbrand Ides by name, suc- 
ceeded so well in his mission that a kind of 
hotel was allowed to be kept for the use of 
Russians who might come there to trade. In 
addition, all the expenses of the traders were 
paid by the Emperor of China, so long as the 
merchants remained in the city. 

At this hotel or camp an annual fair was held 
by Russian and Chinese merchants ; but it 


was not long before these gatherings became 
the scene of much drinking and rioting, and, 
complaints being made to the Emperor of China, 
he ordered all the Russians to leave the country. 
This was in 1722, and it was not until six years 
had passed that another treaty was drawn up 
between the two countries, allowing the Russian 
traders to return. 

This time the Emperor did not pay their 
expenses, but the Russians obtained permission 
to build a church in Pekin, and to send a 
few scholars to that city to learn the Chinese 

In the north of Siberia the progress of the 
Russians was much more gradual, and there 
were no very outstanding events. The first 
settlement was established on the River Lena 
in 1636, and then followed the discoveries of 
a Cossack named Michael Staduchin. 

He went as far to the east as the River 
Kolima in 1644, and, two years later, a band 
of adventurers sailed east of this river for 
two days. Casting anchor in a bay, they 
entered into trade with the natives ; but, as 
they could not understand each other except 
by signs, neither the Russians nor the natives 
came near to one another. The Russians laid 
their goods on the shore, and then went off 
for some distance. 


When the natives came down to the shore 
to examine the goods, they took what they 
fancied, and left in exchange walrus teeth, both 
carved and in their natural state. The value of 
the teeth thus obtained was sufficient to cause 
other merchants to fit out expeditions, and, in 
1648, seven vessels departed from the Kolima 
to go farther east. They sailed through Bering 
Strait, and went as far round as the River Anadir. 

Almost as soon as the Russians had estab- 
lished themselves on the Anadir, they heard 
strange tales of the people of Kamchatka. 
These natives were not so tall as the inhabitants 
of the lands to the north of them. They had 
long beards and small faces. During the 
summer months they lived in huts raised above 
the ground on posts, and in the winter they 
dwelt underground. In order to preserve 
their animal food, they wrapped it in leaves, 
and buried it in the ground till it was quite 

The food was cooked by boiling it in wooden 
or earthen vessels, which were heated by red-hot 
stones, and it is easy to understand that, as 
one of the sailors says, the smell of the cookery 
was so strong that the Russians were unable 
to bear it. 

Some years after this expedition, a merchant 
named Taras Staduchin sailed in the same 


direction, but, being unable to double the cape 
at the extreme north-east of Siberia, he left his 
ships, and went overland through the country 
of the Chukchi. Of these people we learn 
that, when they made a solemn promise to do 
anything, they called upon the sun to be a wit- 
ness that they would keep their word. Some 
among them had flocks of reindeer, which 
obliged them to move from place to place, 
according as they could find food for the 
animals. There were not many wild animals, 
the wolf and the red fox being the most common ; 
but even of these there were few, as the woods 
did not afford sufficient shelter. 



In dealing with Russian discoveries, it may 
be well to have some idea of the character of 
the country at the time when they took place. 
It was noted in the last chapter that when 
the Tsar, Peter the Great, ascended the throne, 
Russia was a country of very little importance. 
It was of vast extent, but it had no sea coast 
of any use for trade purposes. 

From the beginning of his reign, Peter 


resolved that this must be remedied, and, to that 
end, he bent all his powers to the task of procur- 
ing a port on the shores of the Baltic Sea. In 
order that the work might be carried out in a 
satisfactory manner, he went into Holland and 
England, in both of which countries he laboured 
as a shipwright, and learned all he could with 
regard to the building and furnishing of ships. 

At a later date he quarrelled with Sweden, 
and took from that country her Baltic Provinces. 
Then he began to build the city of Petersburg, 
on the Neva, in order that he might have an 
easy road out of Russia into Europe. The work 
cost many thousands of lives, but Peter con- 
tinued the task till the city was finished. 

At that time Russia was a nation whose 
people had very little learning, knew hardly 
anything about art, industry, or trade, and 
were entirely ignorant of the life led by their 
neighbours in the west of Europe. Even the 
nobles had but a faint idea of what went on 
outside Russia. That an end might be put 
to this state of affairs, Peter sent some of the 
younger men of rank to study in foreign 
countries, and also built schools in his own 

Then, in order that Russia might take an 
important place among the nations of Europe, 
he had canals made throughout the country, 


and tried to obtain the services of foreigners, 
who would teach his people the arts of peace 
and civilisation. In the last chapter it was 
shown how he did his best to increase the 
trade with China. 

It must not be supposed that all these reforms 
were carried out without difficulty. On the 
contrary, many of the Russian nobility were 
bitterly opposed to them, but fear of their 
terrible Tsar was more than sufficient to make 
them give way. 

Nor need it be thought that, while Peter was 
making Russia more like the nations of the 
west of Europe, he had any intention of giving 
his subjects more freedom. The peasants were 
not much worse off than they had been before 
his time ; but, under him, the nobles had almost 
as little freedom as the peasants. 

In spite of this, however, it was a good thing 
for Russia that Peter the Great acted as he did, 
since by bringing the country into touch with 
Europe, he advanced it in civilisation. His plan 
of seeking ports, by means of which he would be 
able to increase the trade of the country, has been 
followed by the Russians ever since. Wherever 
they have tried to extend the boundaries of their 
land, they have always endeavoured to obtain 
ice-free ports. 

As was shown in treating of their early 



discoveries, the Russians pushed their conquests 
eastward to the coasts of Kamchatka, and it was 
only a question of time when the hardy sailors 
and other adventurers who visited those regions 
would find their way to America. 

Yet it must be remembered that the voyages 
into these new lands were not carried on in any 
regular manner, and to this may be added the 
fact that the hunters who came there, came as 
hunters^ and not as discoverers. They were 
ignorant men, and from them not much, if any- 
thing, could be learned about the relative 
positions of America and Eastern Asia. They 
were not even sure whether the two continents 
were separated by a strait, or joined together at 
their northern part. 

One of the last acts of Peter the Great was to 
make preparations to have this question solved. 
A few days before his death, he drew up with 
his own hand plans for a voyage which was 
intended to make certain whether Asia was 
separated from America. The Tsar gave in- 
structions to build two vessels on the coast of 
Kamchatka, and with them to examine the sea- 
line to the north and east, in order to settle the 
point as to the existence of a strait. The com- 
mander was also to find out if any European 
power had a harbour in those parts. An exact 
record was to be kept of all that might be 

O.N. G 


discovered, and with this log the commander 
was to return to Petersburg. 

The officers chosen to lead the eastern 
expedition were Captain Vitus Bering, a Dane 
by birth, and Alexoi Chirikoff, a Russian sailor. 
Bering was a captain in the Russian navy, and 
had already given proof of his zeal and ability 
in the service of the Tsar. 

As soon as he had received his orders, Bering 
left Petersburg. The officers and sailors who 
were to make up the expedition had also to 
travel from Peter's new city to Siberia, and so 
many preparations were needed that it was three 
years later before the expedition started. 

On the 14th of July, 1728, the explorers sailed 
from Kamchatka, and in about three weeks 
reached latitude 64° 30', where they had a visit 
from the natives. Eight men rowed toward the 
ships in a boat made of leather, and asked the 
Russians whence they came and what they 
wanted. One of the natives swam to the ship 
upon sealskins filled with air. 

Talking to the Russians through an interpreter, 
the visitors said they were Chukchi, and pointed 
out a small island to the north, which the Russians 
afterwards called St. Lawrence. 

Bering did not go farther than latitude 
67'' 18', because, seeing no land to the north or 
east, he beheved he had found out that Asia 


and America were separated by a strait, which 
was just what the expedition had been sent to 
discover. As a matter of fact, he had gone about 
a degree and a quarter past the most eastern 
point of x\sia, and, although he did not know it, 
had sailed through the strait dividing the Old 
World from the New. This strait was afterwards 
named Bering Strait, in honour of the sailor who 
navigated it in 1728. 

Both Bering and Chirikoff undertook another 
voyage to the same parts in the following year, 
but they did not succeed in gaining any new 

It is rather strange that in these voj^ages 
Bering did not once see the coast of America, 
nor does he appear to have attempted to make 
discoveries to the east. The existence of land in 
that direction was fairly well knovvn ; in fact, it 
was marked on some of the best maps of the 
time. A colonel of Cossacks, for example, 
published a chart at Petersburg two years 
before the first voyage made by Bering. On 
this map he marked an island two days' journey 
to the north of the river Kohma, and beyond this 
island, two days farther in the same direction, 
was marked a coast known as the Great Country. 

Another map showed two islands to the east 
of the Chukchi country, the one farther off being 
more than two days' journey from the mainland. 


Beyond these islands, again, there lay a large 
country full of forests, in which roamed many 
animals useful to man, both for food and for 



At the very time when Bering was on his voyage 
to the north, a proposal was made to the Russian 
government that the conquest of the Chukchi tribe 
should be undertaken, and an attempt made to 
discover the extent of their country. The pro- 
posal was accepted, and Colonel Shestakoff, who 
had brought the matter before the government, 
was appointed to the command of a force thought 
to be strong enough for the purpose. Dmitri 
Paulutski, a captain of dragoons, was sent to 
help him, four hundred Cossacks being placed 
in their charge. 

In 1727 they set out. Shestakoff, with a 
small band of a hundred and fifty men, met and 
gave battle to the whole tribe of the Chukchi. 
In the fight that took place the Russians were 
completely defeated, and Shestakoff himself was 
killed by an arrow. 

Paulutski, in the meantime, had gathered a 
force of two hundred and fifteen Russians, and 


over two hundred friendly Siberians. Leaving 
a fort on the Anadir, at the end of March 1731, 
he proceeded towards the north, travelling 
for the greater part of the time upon the ice, 
being sometimes so far from land that it was not 
possible to see the mouths of the rivers. 

On the 7th of June he attacked and defeated 
the Chukchi, and then continued his march to 
the north-east. 

Some days later another battle took place, and 
then a third one was fought. Among the killed 
in this last fight was found a man differing in 
appearance from the other natives who had been 
slain. His upper lip was pierced for the purpose 
of receiving an ornament of walrus teeth. 
Probably he was not a native of the district in 
which Paulutski was marching, but had come 
from the American continent. 

After this battle the Russians journeyed over- 
land at a very considerable distance from the sea, 
and, having passed near that cape which they 
supposed to be the most northerly part of the 
continent seen by Behring, they proceeded to the 
Anadir, reaching their fort towards the end of 

This daring march round the most distant part 
of Siberia, sometimes on ice, and sometimes 
through the country of a brave and determined 
enemy, took the Russians six months. Nothing 


but the most tireless patience added to great 
bodily strength could have carried it through. 

While these things were going on, a Cossack 
named Krupishef had received orders to sail 
round Kamchatka to the country of the Chukchi, 
that he might be able to help the forces 
under Shestakoff and Paulutski. Having set 
sail according to his orders, he waited for some 
time on the coast of the Chukchi, without being 
able to find out anything about these two officers. 
Krupishef 's ship was lying at that part of the coast 
where Bering's first voyage had come to an end ; 
but, being driven from his shelter by a sudden 
gale, he steered to the east, and found an island 
and then a large country. Almost as soon as 
the ship came in sight of land, a man in a kayak 
canoe, like those used by the natives of Greenland, 
made his way towards the Russians. They 
learned from him that he was an inhabitant of a 
large country near at hand, which was well 
wooded, and contained many wild animals. For 
two days the Russians followed the coast of this 
land, but, another storm coming on, they were 
forced to run for Kamchatka. 

This voyage of Krupishef was an important 
one, as it clearly showed that there actually was 
a strait lying between America and Asia, It 
also gave encouragement to the Russian 
government to carry on still further the work of 


exploration which they had begun. Bering, 
and the officers who had been with him on his 
voyages, were rewarded by the government for 
their services, and other plans were advanced 
for the purpose of obtaining a better know- 
ledge of the districts where the gallant sailors 
had been employed. 

One of these was to see if it were possible to 
sail from Archangel to Kamchatka. This object 
was never accomplished. Many daring attempts 
were made to examine the northern shores of 
Siberia, but they were all unfortunate. 



Just at the time when these plans were being 
thought over, an incident happened which made 
the Russian government more eager than ever 
to carry through their schemes of exploration. 
A Japanese vessel, laden with cotton, silk, 
rice, and spices, was driven out to sea by a 
gale. After having been battered by the 
tempest for some time, it was wrecked on the 
eastern coast of Kamchatka, the crew getting 
to land, and saving the most valuable part of 
the ship's cargo. 


The Cossacks left in charge of the place 
by the Russian government were soon on 
the spOL; but, not being satisfied with the 
presents made to them by the poor ship- 
wrecked sailors, they attacked the unfortunate 
Japanese, and murdered all of them, excepting 
an old man and a boy of eleven years. 

Afterwards the Cossack officer was punished 
for the cruel deed, and the two Japanese who 
had been left alive came to Petersburg in 
1732. The importance of this affair lies in the 
fact that it drew the attention of the Russians 
to the trade that might be established between 
their country and Japan. It would be more 
true to say that their attention was drawn to 
the fact in a stronger way than had been 
the case before, since Russia had long desired 
to have trade with this Eastern nation, but 
did not quite see how it was to be obtained. 

It now came into their minds that the best 
thing they could do, if they really wished the 
trade, was to learn the exact position of 
Siberia and Japan with regard to each other. 

The matter does not seem to have been 
hurried, however, as it was not till the year 
1739 that an expedition was sent out for the 
express purpose of discovering how Japan and 
the eastern coast of Siberia were related. 
Martin Spangberg, who had been with Bering 



in his voyage to the north, was chosen to 
command, and he had, as second, an EngHsh- 
man named WiUiam Walton. 

The voyage was enormously lengthy but un- 
eventful till they reached the Kurile Islands, 
where a tempest fell on them, and separated 
the ships. Spangberg reached the coast of Japan 
in safety, and saw a large number of vessels 
sailing from port to port. The country seemed 
rich, well cultivated, and crowded with villages. 

The great numbers of Japanese whom they 
saw, and their ignorance of the customs of 
these people, made the Russians afraid to go on 
shore, but one day they counted near their 
ship no less than seventy-nine fishing-boats. 
They noticed, too, that in building their boats 
the Japanese used brass and copper, instead 
of iron. 

When the Russians had been in the district 
for some time, a large boat made its way to 
them. In it, in addition to the rowers, were 
four men in beautiful clothing, who looked 
like noblemen. When they came on board 
the Russian ship they were invited into the 
cabin. Immediately they entered, they bowed 
low, placing their hands over their heads, 
and remaining in that position till the captain 
asked them to rise. 

A globe and a map were shown to them, 


and without any hesitation they pointed to 
their own land, which they called Nippon. 
Believing that he had performed the task set 
him, Spangberg set sail for home. In latitude 
43* 50' he came upon a large island, where 
he cast anchor. This may have been Saghalien. 
Here he found the inhabitants wearing leather 
boots, the same as those worn by the natives 
of the Kurile Islands and Kamchatka. Their 
language was the same as that of the Kurile 
Islanders, but the appearance of the people was 
quite different. They were heathen, and 
probably worshipped animals, as, when they 
saw a cock on board the Russian vessel, they 
fell down on their knees as if in adoration. 

Meanwhile, what of Walton? Although 
the storm had separated him from his chief, 
he arrived in safety at Japan. Like Spangberg, 
he saw many fishing-boats, and, by following 
one of the fleets, reached a fine harbour 
in front of a large tov/n. A Japanese ship 
came close up to the Russian vessel, and, by 
signs, her captain invited the crew to land. 
Walton, who was not so much afraid as 
Spangberg had been, quickly sent a boat with 
two empty water-casks, and some presents for 
the chief men of the place. The inhabitants 
received the Russians with the very greatest 
kindness. The shore was lined with the 


Japanese, who wished to see the strange men 
who had come irom over the sea. One of 
them invited the Russians into his house, and 
set before them all manner of good things. 
Wines, fruits, and sweetmeats were offered in 
porcelain dishes. While the sailors we^^j thus 
being refreshed, the other inhabitants of the 
town had filled the empty water - casks, and 
had them ready for the sailors to take back 
to their ship. 

The town was built partly of stone and partly 
of wood, and shops in the streets were numerous. 
The country round about was fertile and well 
tilled, heavy crops of rice and peas being 

Later on, the Japanese visited the ship, and 
carried on some trade with the sailors on the 
deck, everything being done by signs, as the 
two peoples did not know each others* language. 

Although well satisfied that his voyage was 
turning out so successfully, Walton felt he must 
go further along the coast, as by so doing 
he might discover something of importance. 
Accordingly, he set sail, and ran to the south 
along the east side of Japan. 

Everywhere he found the inhabitants willing 
to enter into trade with him ; but at length 
an officer interfered, and put a stop to all 
exchange of goods between the Russians and 


the Japanese. As a result of this, Walton 
returned to Kamchatka. It is worthy of note 
that this voyage of Spangberg and Walton was 
the first in which the ships of Russia crossed 
the tracks of other European vessels in Eastern 

It was not until 1741 that Bering and 
Chirikoff sailed from Kamchatka for the pur- 
pose of steering to the east until they touched 
the continent of America. About a fortnight 
after the start, the two vessels were separated 
by a storm, and were never afterwards able to 
rejoin each other. 

On the i8th of July, Bering discovered the 
coast of Alaska. The land appeared dark, 
gloomy, and forbidding, and yet grand. Huge 
mountains, covered with snow, were seen stretch- 
ing far inland, while one in particular towered 
above all the others. Steller, a German doctor 
and naturahst with the expedition, had never 
seen a higher mountain in Siberia, and named 
it Mount St. EUas. (It was discovered nearly 
200 hundred years later to be 17,978 feet high.) 

Two days later Bering anchored at a small 
island not far from the mainland, which he 
visited. Some huts were found there, but no 
inhabitants, as they had fled. On coming away, 
the Russians took with them some dried fish, 
and other food, leaving in its place knives. 


tobacco, and such trinkets as they thought would 
please the hearts of those who might receive 

Putting to sea again, Bering sailed for some 
distance along the coast of Alaska, but had 
great difficulty in threading his way through 
the vast number of islands lying off the coast. 

In one of these islands some men were seen 
fishing, and the Russians, having landed, tried 
to make friends with them. They found nine 
of the natives on shore, but no women were 
with them, nor were there any signs of canoes 
or huts. Three Russians went ashore, and, 
having fastened their boat to a rock, advanced 
towards the natives. To show the white men 
that they had nothing to fear, the eldest of the 
natives entered the boat, and remained there 
as a hostage of his own free will. 

The Russian sailors, wishing to show that 
they were friendly, presented him with 
a glass of brandy ; but, on putting it to 
his mouth, the strength of the liquid gave 
him such a fright that he thought he was 
betrayed, and to quieten him, he was set 
on shore. 

Next day the natives came to the ship in 
their canoes, bearing with them a rod decorated 
with feathers as a sign of peace. They also 
brought with them presents for the white 


men, and seemed to wish to make friends with 

As the wind was freshening, however, the 
anchor was weighed, and the ship set sail, 
the natives paddling to the shore as fast 
as they could. 

At the end of September the Russians left 
the Aleutian Isles. The wind was blowing 
steadily from the west, and the weather was 
very dirty, a nasty fog hanging over the sea 
for days together. 

To make matters worse the sailors were attacked 
by scurvy, most of them being unfit for work. 
Thus the vessel was driven along at the mercy 
of the winds and waves, at a season of the year 
when tempests were common. For some time 
past, too, Bering himself had been so unwell 
that he was not able to take any share in the 
management of the ship. 

After tossing about on the sea for a long 
time, land was at length sighted, and, on the 
following day, it was resolved to try to effect 
a landing. Indeed there was nothing else left 
for the unhappy sailors to do, for the ship was 
badly knocked about, and was in a leaky 
condition, while the health of the sailors had 
not improved. 

As the ship ran for the coast, the sea was very 
high, and, the strength of the waves proving too 


much for it, the unfortunate vessel was driven on 
a rock. A huge wave forced the ship over the 
reef on which it had struck, and plunged it 
into smooth water ; but, so weak were the 
sailors, that they were unable to do anything 
to patch the vessel up so as to continue the 
voyage. Besides, the season of the year and 
the tempestuous seas made the men glad that 
they had obtained even this piece of good 
luck, and they determined to remain there for 
the winter. 

All who were able to work at all went ashore, 
and began to prepare huts for their comrades 
who were unable to help themselves. They 
made shelters by digging holes in some sand- 
hills near a brook, and then covering the pits 
with canvas from the ship. 

Others set oat to explore the island on which 
they had been cast. They found the place to be 
without trees, and were not able to find any traces 
of inhabitants. Towards the centre of the island 
they discovered many foxes, both blue and white, 
the fur of which was not at all so fine as that of 
the Siberian fox. Along the shore sea-otters 
were seen in abundance. The flesh of these 
creatures was so tough that it could hardly be 
torn into pieces with the teeth. Steller, the 
doctor, however, v/as glad to see even this kind 
of animal food, as he believed it was a cure for 


the scurvy, which was doing so much damage. 
The intestines of the animals, not being so tough, 
were kept for the sick. 

The otters were killed also for the sake of their 
fur, which the sailors thought they might, later 
on, use for trading with the Chinese. No fewer 
than nine hundred of these skins were collected, 
and, for his services to the sick, Steller received 
three hundred of them. 

Thirty of the crew died on the island. Bering 
himself lived only until the 8th of December. 
Like the gallant Sir Hugh Willoughby, at the 
end of the sixteenth century, he had a hard fate. 
The unfortunate Bering may almost be said to 
have been buried alive. The sand from the sides 
of the pit in which he lay kept slipping down and 
covering his feet. He would not allow it to be 
removed, as it kept him warm, and, as the slip- 
ping continued, he gradually became more than 
half covered with it. After his death, it was 
necessary to dig him out in order that he might 
be properly buried. 

After the beginning of May 1742, forty-five 
members of the crew who were still alive began 
to build a vessel from the timbers of the wreck. 
The carpenters were all dead, but a Cossack 
named Starodubzoff, who had worked for a time 
as a shipwright, volunteered to superintend the 
building if they would proceed with it. 


For three months they laboured at their task, 
and, at the end of that time, had the happiness 
of setting forth in a httle ship, which carried 
them in safety to Kamchatka. They left their 
desolate island — Bering's Island it was after- 
wards called, in memory of the brave sailor 
who had died there — on the loth of August, 
and, though kept back by unfavourable wmds, 
cast anchor in the Bay of St. Peter and St. 
Paul on the 27th. As a reward for his good 
service, the Cossack, Starodubzoff, was made 
a nobleman. 

While these things had been happening, what 
had become of Chirikoff ? After his vessel had 
been separated from that of his commander, he 
ran for the coast of America, which he reached 
in latitude 55° 36'. His voyage, though not so 
unfortunate as that of Bering, was attended 
with hardly less hardship and trouble than his 

The part of the coast where he touched 
at in America was steep, rocky, and bare, 
without a single island where he might find 
shelter for his ship in case of need. Anchor- 
ing off the shore, he sent a long-boat to 
effect a landing wherever it was possible. 
When several days had passed without the 
boat making its appearance again, he sent 
off another, which probably suffered the same 

O.N. H 


fate. What happened to them has never been 

Later on, some canoes manned by natives 
came out towards the ship, but, as they were 
afraid to approach too near, Chirikoff was 
not able to obtain any information from them. 
At length, giving up hope of ever seeing his 
men again, he departed from the place, and, 
steering for Kamchatka, arrived at that country 
by the beginning of October. 

Not long after the return of Bering's crew 
from the desolate island on which they had 
been cast, the inhabitants of Kamchatka 
ventured to visit the place. The furs found 
there were sufficient to cause the Russians to 
make a series of voyages to the island, and, 
some of the vessels being driven out of their 
course, a knowledge of the Aleutian Isles was 
obtained. These islands were found to be 
thinly peopled, and worthy of further visits 
because of the number of furred animals which 
had their homes there. 

The Russian government, strangely enough, 
seems to have paid little attention to this 
new discovery, and all voyages to the islands 
were carried on by private persons. It is 
possible that the government did not receive 
any definite information about the matter for 
some time ; though a plain statement was made 


on the subject in 1750. Not till the year 
1760 was anything done to aid the trade 
that was gradually rising in those regions. 
In that year, however, the governor of Tobolsk 
began settlements and factories on the islands, 
and, before long, the Russians were carrying 
on a large trade in furs with China. 

The German doctor who accompanied Bering 
— Georg Wilhelm Steller — made several re- 
markable discoveries on the coast of Alaska, 
and on Bering's Island off the coast of Kamchatka. 
He sighted the gigantic snow-peak in Southern 
Alaska of Mt. St. Elias, nearly 18,000 feet high, 
the outlying member of a group of the highest 
mountains in North America (Mt. Logan, within 
British limits, rises to nearly 20,000 feet); and 
on Bering's Island, near the coast of Kamchatka, 
he recorded the gigantic Sirenian aquatic beast, 
the Rhytina. This extraordinary relation of 
the manati and dugong was twenty-two feet 
long in the adult male, but having no means of 
defence or escape, it was soon destroyed by the 
Russian sailors. 

VI. — Captain Cooke 



James Cook was born in the Yorkshire village 
of Marton, on the 27th of October, 1728. 
When thirteen years of age his father ap- 
prenticed him to a linen draper at the fishing 
village of Snaith ; but Cook felt no pleasure in 
this occupation, and found his chief interest in 
chatting to the sailors who called at the port. 
The desire for a sea-faring life came upon 
him and was too strong to be resisted. Gain- 
ing his father's consent, he left the linen 
draper's shop, and went to sea as ship's boy 
in a boat carrying coal from England to 

In 1755 war broke out between France and 
England, and Cook engaged himself on board 
the Eagle^ a vessel of sixty tons, under Sir 
Hugh Palliser. His activity and his know- 
ledge of the details of his work stood him in 
good stead, and he was soon noticed by the 
officers, and recommended by his captain for 


promotion. He was made boatswain, and in 
1759 sailed in the Mercury for Canada, where 
he joined the fleet of Sir Charles Saunders, 
who, with General Wolfe, conducted the siege 
of Quebec. 

Here Cook distinguished himself by drawing 
up a chart of the St. Lawrence, which was 
published by the English Admiralty. After 
this he corrected many errors in the maps of 
America. In 1769 the transit of Venus across 
the sun's disc was expected to occur, and it 
was resolved by the English government to 
send out an expedition to the Pacific Ocean, 
where the transit could best be observed. 

Cook v/as about forty years of age at this 
time, and, being highly recommended by Sir 
Hugh Palliser, was placed in charge of the 
expedition and raised to the rank of ship's 
lieutenant. This was his first appointment 
in the Royal Navy. 

His orders were to observe the transit of 
Venus, and also to make a voyage of discovery 
in the Pacific Ocean. While his ship, the 
Endeavour^ was being equipped with men, stores, 
and ammunition, Captain Wallis returned to 
England after his voyage round the world. 
Being consulted as to the best place to make 
the observation, he chose the island of Tahiti, 
which he had discovered in the Pacific Ocean. 


The Endeavour left Plymouth on the 26th of 
August, 1768, and arrived at Madeira on the 
13th of September, where fresh fruit was obtained, 
No incident of any importance occurred during 
the voyage from Madeira to Rio de Janeiro. 
Having obtained fresh provisions, the Englii^h 
ship entered the Strait of Le Maire, at the very 
extremity of South America, on the 14th of 
January, 1769. Very stormy weather was 
encountered here, but the Endeavour was soon 
anchored in the Bay of Good Success. 

Cook records the miserable hves of the natives 
of Tierra del Fuego, who could barely exist in that 
severe climate. On the nth June the explorers 
arrived at Tahiti, and two days later anchored 
in Port Matavai. Cook was very careful to 
give strict instructions to his crew as to their 
behaviour towards the natives, and they con- 
tinued on friendly terms during their stay. 

On the 3rd of June, the observations were 
taken and the results carefully noted. Some of 
the officers exploring the interior of the island 
were surprised to hear the natives singing, the 
subject of their song being the arrival of the 
English and the incidents which had happened 
during their stay. 

One of their favourite dishes was stewed 
dog, which Cook, having tasted, declared was 
very good. 


Just before the ship sailed, a young native, 
called Tupia, and his servant, a boy of thirteen, 
came on board and begged to be taken on the 
voyage. Cook decided to take him, as he knew 
all about Tahiti and the neighbouring isles, 
and understood the navigation of these parts. 

On the first island at which the Endeavour 
called, the sailors had a friendly recepiion by the 
natives, and the king, Orea, became very fond 
of Cook. He showed his favour by changing 
names with the captain. Cook waited here for 
some time, and found the manners, language, 
and productions of this island to be the same 
as those of Tahiti. 

To the south-west lay Ulietea, where Cook 
landed and took possession. Other small islands 
were discovered, and Cook gave the general 
name of Society Islands to the entire group. 
Six days later was found the Island of Oteroa. 
To remain there was impossible owing to the 
hostility of the natives, so the explorer sailed 
to the south. 

After encountering a severe storm, which 
forced him to change his course, land was 
discovered. There was rich vegetation, and tali 
trees were numerous, while houses and natives 
could be seen. This land was the most northerly 
of the islands of New Zealand. The natives 
were very hostile, and as Cook could make 


no headway towards friendship with them, 
he left this place, which he called Poverty 
Bay, because he could get only wood there. 

All along the shore the natives were very 
unfriendly, and Cook, not being able to find a 
suitable harbour, decided to return by the way 
he had come. A halt was made at the Bay 
of Tedago, where the natives seemed friendly, 
and both water and provisions were secured. 
Leaving Tedago, the Endeavour sailed along 
the coast towards the north, and anchored off 
the Island of Mayor. 

Here the explorers stayed five or six days to 
observe the transit of Mercury, and Cook took 
the greatest care to be as friendly as possible 
with the natives. Sailing along the coast, he 
passed Cape Maria van Diemen, but had to 
keep a good distance from the shore, owing 
to the strong winds and the dangerous nature 
of the coast. He named the various points 
they passed, and on i6th January, 1770, saw 
a huge peak covered with snow, which he called 
Mount Egmont, after the earl of that name. 

The coast was more sheltered after this, and 
the sailors landed in order to refit the ship. 
The natives were friendly at this place, and 
the officers made many excursions into the 
interior. A pah^ or fort, was visited. This 
vvas a huge stronghold built of solid stone. 


The officers also discovered that the natives 
were cannibals. They openly admitted that 
they ate their enemies. Cook soon set sail 
again, and a month later passed what he 
believed to be the most southerly point of 
New Zealand, and called it South Cape. This 
was really the most southerly point of Stewart 

Convinced by the great waves which rolled 
in from the south-west, that no land would be 
found in that direction, he decided to go round 
by the eastern coast. Steering northward, he 
entered a fine, sheltered bay near the southern 
point of South Island. Cook named it Dusky 
Bay, and would have waited here some time, 
but had to hasten in order to get the benefit 
of a wind which blows only once a month in 
these latitudes. 

The appearance of this coast from the sea 
is wild and savage. Huge mountains with 
barren rocks, covered in places with snow, rise 
direcdy from the coast. Farther on, the 
mountains are in the interior, while hills and 
fertile valleys border the coast. 

After going round the island, he regained 
the entrance to Queen Charlotte^s Sound, where 
the crew took in wood and water. 

Although discovered by Tasman in 1642, no 
later European captain had visited the shores 


of New Zealand. It was even undecided 
whether it was an island, or part of a continent. 
Cook settled this point, explored its coasts, and 
exactly defined its position. The northern island 
was very barren and mountainous, and had only 
a small population. The southern island was 
well wooded, the soil being fertile and well 
watered. Dogs and rats were the only quadru- 
peds found on the islands, the former being 
used for food. 

The natives were tall and well built, alert, 
strong, and intelligent. The women were 
dressed like the men, and could be dis- 
tinguished only by their voices. While the 
members of the same tribe were friendly to 
each other, they hated their enemies and 
gave them no quarter. 

There were frequent wars among the tribes, 
but they all looked on the English as enemies, 
and it was only when they found it impossible 
to conquer the white men that they began to be 
friendly. The New Zealanders w^ere in the habit 
of tattooing themselves, and they also greased 
their hair with an oil obtained from fishes or from 

Cook was surprised to find that the women 
paid less attention to their appearance than 
the men, their chief weakness being for ear 
ornaments, consisting chiefly of feathers, fish 



bones, bits of wood, and the teeth of their 
deceased parents. Their usual costume consisted 
of two parts, one attached to the shoulders and 
coming to the knees, and the other hanging from 
the w^aist to the ground. These dresses were 
sometimes beautifully trimmed with coloured 
fringes. The people were very industrious, 
and had built a fine fleet of canoes for purposes 
of war, the vessels being finely ornamented 
and able to carry from forty to fifty armed 

From New Zealand, Cook sailed westward, 
and soon afterwards land was sighted, which 
proved to be the eastern shore of Australia. 
It was a mountainous and richly wooded 
country. The natives were ornamented with 
white powder, which covered their faces and 
formed stripes on their bodies. Cook found 
it impossible to treat with them, as they fled 
on his approach. 

From the great number of plants found there, 
the landing-place (south of Sydney), was called 
Botany Bay. Trees were very plentiful, and 
Cook assiH'es us, as large as the oaks of England. 
Birds abounded, and were remarkable for their 
beauty, while fish in plenty were found in the 
Bay. Leaving here the explorers continued to 
sail to the north, keeping two or three miles off 
the coast to avoid the strong currents. 


Landing at Bustard Bay, they found the 
country inferior to that about Botany Bay. 
The dry sandy soil produced only a few stunted 
trees, showing that the great need of the 
country was a water supply. While on shore, 
the sailors were badly stung by a prickly 
shrub, and gnats and mosquitoes also covered 
them with painful bites. This part of Australia 
Cook named New South Wales. 

Continuing the voyage, the explorers had a 
marvellous escape from wreckage on a reef, 
and, after much danger, arrived at the mouth 
of a current which Cook named Endeavour 
River. Landing here, they found many strange 
animals and birds, including kangaroos, phalangers, 
dasyures, kites, hawks, paroquets, and cockatoos. 
The natives were very friendly, and treated the 
sailors well. They were blackish-brown, of 
medium height, and had pleasant features. They 
painted their bodies a bright red, and wore an 
ornament in their nose. 

After leaving Endeavour River, considerable 
difficulty was found in steering clear of the 
shoals and avoiding the strong currents. 

As far as the eye could reach, the sea 
seemed to dash on line after line of rocks. 
Once the voyageurs narrowly escaped being 
wrecked, the Endeavour having struck on a rock, 
but, getting off, they doubled the most northerly 


point of New Holland. To this place Cook 
gave the name of Cape York. 

After passing Prince of Wales Island, Cook 
sailed for New Guinea, but on landing, three 
natives attacked the sailors, who had to fire on 
them in order to regain their ship. 

The natives were not so dark as the 
Australians, but, like them, wore their hair 
short and went without clothes. They carried 
a hollow stick, from which fire was emitted 
as though from a gun, but there was no sound. 
The use and structure of this strange weapon has 
never been discovered. Cook now determined to 
push on to Batavia, as the Endeavour was in 
need of repairs, while many of the crew, including 
the surgeon, had died of fever. Then, leaving 
Java, the explorers arrived at Penang, where 
they obtained victuals. 

Cook was well treated at the Cape of Good 
Hope, where he made a short stay, and, after 
touching at St. Helena, cast anchor in the Downs, 
on the nth of June, 1772, his voyage having 
lasted nearly four years. 




As a reward for his discoveries, Captain Cook 
was made commander in the Royal Navy on 
29th August, 1772. Some people still believed 
that an Antarctic Continent existed, and, when 
an expedition for its discovery was planned, 
Cook was chosen as its leader. 

Two vessels, the Resolution and the Adventure j 
were built and carefully stocked with provisions 
to last for two and a half years. Some of the 
crew had already served under Cook in the 
Endeavour. Captain Tobias Furneaux received 
command of the Adventure. 

Sailing from Plymouth in 1773, Cook reached 
Funchal in Madeira, and, after getting fresh 
provisions, continued his voyage, calling at 
the Cape Verde Islands for a supply of water. 

He was so careful of the good health of 
his crew, that, on arriving at the Cape of Good 
Hope, there was not a single case of sickness 
on board his ship. 

Leaving here, both vessels sailed in search of 
Cape Circumcision. The weather soon became 
much colder, and all the animals embarked at 
the Cape died. The sailors also suffered from 


the damp. Rain and snow and fog succeeded 
each other, and huge icebergs added to the 
dangers of navigation. 

The cold grew more intense, and scurvy broke 
out among the men. Cook, having decided that 
no land was to be found in this direction, at the 
end of December determined to sail eastward. 
Fierce storms raged, and the ships were in 
danger of being hemmed in by the icebergs. 

The Adventure now went amissing, and, after 
fruitless search, the Resolution had to continue 
her voyage alone. 

Finding it impossible to pass the Arctic Circle, 
owing to the ice blocks, Cook resumed his course 
to the north, and soon reached New Zealand. 
A suitable anchorage having been found in 
Dusky Bay, the health of the crew was much 
improved by the supplies of fowl, fish, and 
vegetables, which the country furnished. To 
please the natives Cook gave a concert. The 
fife and cornet were played to them in vain, but 
they loved to hear the drum. 

One day a chief and his daughter came on 
board, and inspected every part of the ship. 
To show his respect for Cook, the chief wished to 
anoint him with tainted oil. Cook managed to 
escape his kindness, but one of the officers had 
to submit to it, to the amusement of the entire 
crew. Then the chief departed, taking with him 


nine hatchets and thirty pairs of scissors, which 
he had received as presents. Before leaving 
Dusky Bay, Cook had a space of land cleared, 
where he planted kitchen-garden seeds. He also 
left five geese behind. We thus see how he 
worked for the welfare of the natives, and also 
for future navigators. 

Sailing for Queen Charlotte's Sound, where he 
expected to meet Captain Furneaux, he found 
that captain had been there for six weeks. 
During this time he had landed and planted a 
garden, besides making friends with the natives, 
who, he found, were cannibals. 

Cook landed here and left some domestic 
animals, and, in addition, planted potatoes. The 
natives were like those of Dusky Bay, but not 
so mannerly. Among them were several women, 
whose lips were covered with little holes, the 
edges of which were painted a bluish black, 
while their cheeks were coloured a bright red, 
by a mixture of chalk and oil. 

Cook did not recognise a single native whom 
he had met on his first voyage. 

The number of inhabitants was reduced to a 
third. The pah was deserted, as were many 
of the cabins along the coast. The two ships 
being repaired, Cook set off to find Pitcairn 
Island, but, owing to scurvy on board the 
Adventure^ had to shorten his cruise. 


Having now no hope of reaching an Antarctic 
Continent, he sailed for the north-west, and soon 
saw several islands. These were mostly of 
circular shape, the lower parts level with the 
sea, and they contained a basin of sea water in 
the centre. Most of them were inhabited, 
although they were small and produced little 
else but cocoa-nuts. 

After being driven on a reef and nearly 
wrecked the ships anchored at Otaiti Piha in 
the Society Islands, and were soon surrounded 
by visitors, who exchanged all kinds of fruit for 
glass beads. Several natives asked for news of 
Cook's former officers. They were artful thieves, 
and when on board the ships had to be carefully 

The officers made many journeys into the 
interior. During one of these excursions a man 
was seen with very long nails. He was im- 
mensely proud of them, as they showed that he 
did not need to work. A single finger was used 
for scratching purposes I The same day they 
saw a man who passed his time in being fed by 
his wives while he lay on a carpet of thick 

On the 22nd of August, Cook and some 
of his officers visited King Waheatua. He 
received them kindly, made Cook sit on his 
stool, and asked for various Englishmen he 

O.N. I 


had known on the former voyage. After pay- 
ing the usual compliments, Cook presented 
the king with a shirt, a hatchet, some nails, 
and a tuft of red feathers mounted on wire. 
This last gift excited great admiration from 
the king and his followers. 

Waheatua was a fine-looking man, tall and 
well made, but his appearance was spoiled by 
the look of fear and distrust which he con- 
stantly wore. He was surrounded by chiefs 
and nobles who were remarkable for their 
height, and one of them, Etee, his chief friend, 
was enormously stout. The king was much 
amused by Cook's watch, and on its use being 
explained to him called it the little sun. 

In Matavai Bay a crowd of Tahitians came 
on board the ships. Cook had tents erected 
on shore for his sick, the sail-menders, and 
the coopers, and then went with three officers 
to Oparri to visit king Ota. 

Cook gave many presents to him and to his 
followers, as he much wanted to obtain this 
man's friendship. The native w^omen loaded the 
visitors with such large pieces of their finest stuffs, 
brightly coloured and highly perfumed, that 
they could hardly walk. Otu returned the 
visit next day. He refused to eat anything, 
but his suite did not follow his example. The 
king was pleased to accept a small spaniel 


and a pair of goats, and then went away in 
his sloop. 

Leaving Matavai, the explorers took with 
them a young Tahitian named Parko, who 
cried bitterly when they lost sight of land, 
but the officers promised to be like fathers to 
him, and he was comforted. 

The ships next called at Huaheine Island, 
a smaller island than Tahiti. Here the sailors 
obtained fowls, pigs, and fruit, the natives 
gladly exchanging these products for hatchets, 
nails, and glassware. Cook paid a visit to 
his old friend. King Orea, who shed tears of 
joy at sight of him. The king was very kind, 
and introduced his friends, to whom Cook gave 
presents. He also supplied the visitors with 
all they needed during their stay. 

The natives, however, quarrelled with the 
sailors, and Spurrman, the botanist, nearly lost 
his life. Cook complained to Orea, who, 
miserable and furious at the incident, promised 
to find the offenders and punish them. Just 
as the vessels were leaving, Orea came on board 
and told Cook the culprits had been found. He 
wished him to remain and see them punished, 
but as this was impossible, he went a little way 
with Cook, and then left him with friendly 

The next island visited was Ulietea, where the 


natives made the sailors welcome. King Oreo 
made inquiries for the English he had known 
on Cook's former voyage, and also provided 
him with all the products of his islands. 

During their stay here, Parko landed with 
a Tahitian girl who had enchanted him, and 
refused to return on board the Resolution. 
A youth named Oedidi, who wished to go to 
England, gladly took his place. 

On 17th September the ships, well stocked with 
pigs, fowls, and fruit, left the Society Islands 
and steered for the west. Passing the Hervey 
Islands, they anchored at Eod or Middlebourg 
Island, where the natives gave them a hearty 
welcome. A chief named Taione came on 
board, touched Cook's nose with a pinch of 
pepper, and sat down without speaking. He 
received a few trifles, and in return became 
their friend and guide. The natives were very 
liberal, and pressed their stuffs and mats upon 
the English, often declining to accept their iron 
nails in return. 

Taione led them to his hut, and gave them 
a liquor to drink. It was made by chewing 
a root, a species of pepper, then putting it into 
a vase and pouring water over it. When ready 
for use the liquor was poured into leaves shaped 
like cups. Cook tasted this drink, but the 
officers did not care to do so, and it was left to 


the natives, who soon emptied the vase. There 
were several well cultivated gardens oh this 
island, and the natives were more civilised than 
those of Tahiti. 

Neither pigs nor fowls could be procured, so 
Cook set sail for the Island of Amsterdam, and 
the vessels anchored some distance off the shore 
to avoid the breakers. The natives were friendly, 
and brought food, mats, arms, ornaments, and 
afterwards pigs and fowls. 

A native, called Atago, guided Cook over 
the island. During the excursion, the captain 
was shown a person to whom the natives paid 
the greatest respect. He paid no attention to 
the visitor's compliments, nor even looked at the 
presents he gave him. He sat surrounded by 
adoring natives, and neither moved nor spoke, 
and Cook was forced to conclude that he was 
an idiot whom they adored from superstitious 

The natives of this group — the Friendly or 
Tonga Islands — were light coloured and well 
built, and had good features. Their hair was 
black, but they tinted it with powder, so that 
red, white, and blue hair was often seen. They 
also tatued their bodies. Their dress consisted of 
cloth rolled round the waist and hanging down to 
the knees. The women also wore aprons of coco- 
nut fibre, which they ornamented with shells and 


feathers. They had a curious custom of putting 
everything that was given them on their heads. 
When their friends died, they slashed their 
limbs and their fingers to show their sorrow. 
Their houses were not collected in villages, 
but were separate and dispersed among the 
plantations. Tonga and Eoa were specially 
rich in cocoa-nuts, palms, bread-fruit, yams, 
and sugar canes. Pigs and fowls were plenti- 
ful, and the most delicate fish were caught on 
the coasts. 

The vessels next sailed for Queen Charlotte's 
Sound in South Island, New Zealand, but before 
reaching it were caught in a gale, and the 
Adventure was not seen again tiU they arrived in 
England. After being repaired, the Resolution 
left New Zealand, and entered the glacial regions 
through which she had already sailed. 

The crew were in good health, but worn by 
fatigue, and were not able to stand the intense 
cold. Oedidi was astonished at the white 
rain," as he called the snow, and still more 
astonished at the white earth," which was his 
name for ice. All on board the Resolution were 
ill from cold and scurvy, and Cook decided that, 
if land existed, the ice made access to it impos- 
sible. He therefore steered for the north. 

On the nth of March, Easter Island was 
sighted. It was formed of lava, and presented 


a picture of desolation, the only vegetation being 
some grass and a few scanty bushes. Wonderful 
monuments were seen on the island, but by whom 
erected or for what purpose could not be learned. 
The natives were tattooed, and wore costume stuffs 
like those of the Society Islands. They were 
forced to have a protection from the sun, and 
wore head coverings of grass and feathers. 
Trading was carried on between the crew and 
the natives, and some useful articles obtained, 
but the absence of drinkable water cut short the 
stay at this place. 

After leaving Easter Island, the whole of the 
crew were ill with scurvy or fever, and Cook 
anchored at Tao Wati, one of the Marquesas 
Group. The natives were not friendly at first, 
but soon changed, and bartered eagerly. These 
islands were fertile and w^ell watered, and the 
natives were handsome, with yellow-brovm skin 
and tatued faces. The difficulty of procuring 
food caused Cook to hasten his departure, and 
he sailed for Matavai Bay (Tahiti), where he 
was warmly welcomed. 

Various old friends visited the ship, and all 
were anxious to possess red feathers. They 
even gave in exchange their strange mourning 
garments, which they had refused to sell during 
Cook's first voyage. Oedidi was very popular 
with the natives. Marrying a daughter of the 


Chief of Matavai, he decided to remain at 

Before their departure, the explorers saw the 
natives and their canoes gather together for war. 
There were over three hundred canoes and 
nearly eight thousand men. This immense 
array duly impressed the English with the 
power and wealth of the natives. 

The next stop was at a steep and rocky island, 
where the sailors were attacked by the natives. 
One of the officers was wounded, and Cook had 
a narrow escape. It was useless to remain here, 
and, calling it Savage Island, they sailed away. 
Four days later the Tonga Archipelago was 
reached. The natives were friendly, and offered 
bananas and ail kinds of fruit in exchange for 
nails and old pieces of cloth. Some of the 
officers made excursions into the interior, and 
were delighted with the beauty of the scenery. 

Continuing his voyage, Cook next called at 
the Archipelago of the Grandes Cyclades, and the 
natives celebrated his visit by games and dancing. 
They traded with the crew, showing great 
honesty in their dealings. Cook called this place 
Port Sandwich, and, having obtained food and 
water, sailed to Malikolo in the New Hebrides. 

The natives here were hideous in appearance. 
They were small and badly made, bronze in 
colour, with flat faces. Their coarse black hair 



and bushy beards did not add to their beauty. 
Theyr wore as ornaments tortoise-shell ear-rings, 
bracelets made of hogs* teeth, large tortoise-shell 
rings, and a flat stone which they passed through 
the cartilage of the nose. They also wore a 
cord tied tightly across their stomachs. Their 
weapons were spears and clubs, as well as bows 
and poisoned arrows. 

After leaving Port Sandwich, all the crew of 
the Resolution were seized with sudden sickness, 
the result of eating fish which had been poisoned. 
The natives of Kero Mango, the next place 
visited, appeared friendly, but Cook mistrusted 
them. As they found they could not lure the 
English to disembark, they tried to force them. 
To save his men, Cook was obliged to order a 
general volley to be fired. It was useless to 
attempt to land, and, calling the place Cape 
Traitor, Cook sailed off, soon reaching an island 
which the natives called Tanna. 

On reaching the shore, the Resolution was sur- 
rounded by the natives, who tried to steal every- 
thing, even to the hinges of the rudder. As the 
people were unfriendly, the sailors made few 
excursions into the interior. A large volcano, 
which sent out torrents of smoke and flame, 
occupied the centre of the island. The natives 
would not allow the English to visit this wonder, 
but it was impossible to learn the reason for 


this reluctance. Extinct volcanoes were seen 
in every direction, and a hot spring was dis- 

By degrees the natives grew more friendly, 
and the sailors found them kind, civil, and good- 
hearted, when their jealousy was not excited. 
The land was fertile, and produced bread-fruits, 
cocoa-nuts, yams, potatoes, nutmegs, and various 
other fruits and spices, the names of which were 
unknown. The natives would not part with 
their pigs, which were plentiful, for anything 
offered in exchange. 

Leaving Tanna, Cook next discovered Erroman 
and Annatom Islands, and coasted round them. 
Having passed Malikola and Land of the Holy 
Spirit, he left this Archipelago, naming it New 

New Caledonia was next discovered. The 
coast appeared bare and sterile, but Cook, find- 
ing an opening, landed at Balade. The 
strangers were made very welcome, and a brisk 
trade was carried on, nails and red cloth being 
in great demand. The natives were tall and 
well made, with curly hair and beards. Their 
skin was of a dark chocolate colour. Many of 
them suffered from a kind of leprosy, which 
caused their arms and legs to be considerably 
swollen. They wore little clothing, and orna- 
mented their ears with tortoise-shell or rolled-up 


leaves of sugar cane. They were very lazy, 
but honest and polite. 

The country was rich in minerals, but fruits 
were rare. The natives lived on fish and roots, 
and also on the bark of a tree. The population 
was not large. The houses were shaped like bee- 
hives, and no outlet but the door was provided 
for the smoke from the fires, which were always 
kept burning. 

The inhabitants buried their dead, and several 
of the crew visited a chiefs tomb, which was a 
mound, with darts, javelins, and other weapons 
stuck all round it. Cook, after much persuasion, 
got the natives to accept some pigs, and soon 
after left Balade. 

South of New Caledonia a small island was 
discovered, rich in pine trees, and Cook named 
it Pine Island. 

At uninhabited Norfolk Island many unknown 
vegetables were found, and a plentiful supply 
was taken on board. When the Resolution 
anchored at Queen Charlotte's Sound, New 
Zealand, Cook found the gardens, planted on 
a former occasion, had been neglected, but a few 
plants had grow^n well. The natives were very 
reserved, which made Cook anxious as to the 
fate of the Adventure, 

He could get no ansv/ers to his questions, so, 
after landing some pigs, he took his departure. 


After sailing for some time, the shores oi 
America near the entrance to the Straits oi 
Magellan were sighted. The coast was 
extremely wild, with huge rocks and precipices. 
The mountains in the interior were covered with 
snow, and not a sign of vegetation was to be 
seen. The Resolution cast anchor in Christmas 
Sound, and soon the crew were supplied with 
birds and a large quantity of eggs, which formed 
a welcome change in their food. Doubling Cape 
Horn, Cook crossed the Strait of Le Maire and 
anchored at Staten Island. Whales and other 
sea monsters were here in abundance, and two of 
the officers had a narrow escape when hunting 

Cook now sailed to the south-east to explore 
the only part of the ocean yet unknown to him, 
and, discovering land, took possession in the name 
of George III., in whose honour he called the 
country Southern Georgia. The aspect of the 
country was most forbidding. In the interior 
huge rocks abounded, and the valleys were 
covered with perpetual snow, with no trace of 
vegetation anywhere. 

The discovery of Southern Thule, Saunders 
Island, Chandeleur Islands, and Sandwich Island, 
convinced Cook that such barren lands were of 
no commercial value. Having made certain of 
their existence, he engaged in a fruitless search 


for Cape Circumcision, and regained the Cape 
of Good Hope in March 1773. 

Here he received a letter which was waiting 
for him from Captain Fumeaux. In it he told 
Cook that he arrived at Queen Charlotte's Sound, 
New Zealand, on 13th November, 1773, and took 
in wood and water, afterwards sending a boat 
with an officer and ten men to gather edible 
plants. As they were absent a long while, a 
search was made for them, and parts of the boat 
and the clothing of the men were found. It was 
afterwards discovered there had been a fight, 
and that the natives had killed and eaten 
the Englishmen. Furneaux left New Zealand, 
doubled Cape Horn, touched at the Cape of Good 
Hope, and on the 14th of July, 1774, reached 

Cook took in fresh provisions, repaired his 
ship, and started on his homeward journey. On 
the 29th of July, 1775, he anchored at Plymouth, 
after an absence of over three years. He had 
been very successful in the objects for which the 
voyage had been undertaken, and was rewarded 
— but, we should nowadays think, inadequately — • 
for his labours. 




The question of a northern passage between 
the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans was eagerly 
discussed at this time, and it was resolved to 
send an expedition to seek an outlet by way of 
the Pacific, and to report on the usefulness of 
such a passage for trading purposes. 

A man of experience, of presence of mind in 
danger, and having a knowledge of science, 
was needed as leader, and the command was 
offered to Captain Cook as one who possessed 
these qualities. Two ships, the Resolution and 
the Discovery^ were fully equipped and placed 
at his disposal, Captain Clerke taking command 
of the Discovery. Cook's orders were to cross 
the Pacific, and search to the east for the North- 
West Passage. At Kamchatka, he was to make 
a short stay, and then return to England by 
what he considered the best route for navigation. 

The Resolution left Plymouth on 7th July, 1776, 
and was joined at the Cape by the Discovery. 
Being detained there through repairs needed by 
the Discovery y Cook laid in stores for a two-years' 
voyage, and also took on board live stock for 
Tahiti and New Zealand. Early in the next 



year Tasmania was reached, and Cook cast his 
anchor in Adventure Bay. 

Some of the natives came on board. They 
were of ordinary height, with black skins and 
woolly black hair, but they had not the thick 
lips and flat noses of the West African Negroes. 
Their features were not disagreeable, and they had 
beautiful eyes ; but they were extremely dirty, 
and used a yellow ointment for their hair and 
beards, and some even rubbed their faces with 
it. They took the presents offered to them, and 
went away without showing any pleasure. 

Soon afterwards the vessels arrived at Queen 
Charlotte's Sound, in New Zealand, but not a 
native would venture on board, as they felt sure 
the Enghsh would punish them for the murder 
of their comrades. When they were convinced 
that Cook had no such intention, they came and 
carried on traffic with the crew. Pigs and goats 
were landed in the hope that they would live 
and multiply in New Zealand. 

At an island named Wateroo two of the 
officers landed alone and unarmed. They were 
conducted through a crowd of men, armed with 
clubs, to the presence of three chiefs, whose ears 
were adorned with red feathers. 

Several women danced before the chiefs in a 
very grave manner, and took no notice of the 
new arrivals. The officers were separated, their 


pockets were emptied, and they became rathei 
frightened. They were detained till evening, 
being forced to allow the natives several times to 
examine the colour of their skin. When night 
came, they were allowed to go, and were loaded 
with cocoa-nuts, bananas, and other fruits. 

Hervey Island was sighted on the 5th April. 
On Cook*s former voyage it was uninhabited, 
but now several natives approached the vessels 
in their pirogues. They were fierce in appear- 
ance and would not come on board. They 
were armed with spears and clubs and resented 
any attempt at landing. 

Cook now determined to reach the Tonga or 
Friendly Islands, where he was sure of wood 
and water and provisions for the crew. The 
English sailors were well received, and procured 
pigs, water, fruits, and roots. The natives 
entertained them to various exhibitions of clubs 
and boxing. Two women also showed their skill 
in fighting with each other, and were applauded 
just like the men. Games and dances went on 
for days, and Cook gave an exhibition of fire- 
works, which very much astonished the natives. 

Pulaho, the king, was short and stout, and 
looked like a barrel. He was dignified, grave, 
and intelligent, and examined the vessels, and 
asked why the English had come. Cook enter- 
tained him to dinner. He ate and drank very 


little, and asked the captain to land with him. 
He did so, and a grand feast was prepared in 
his honour. Cook stayed in these islands for 
three months, the natives being exceedingly kind, 
and entertaining him during all that time. 

At Eoa, Taione gave him a hearty welcome, 
and from him Cook learned that each chief ruled 
a number of islands. The principal islands are 
Vavao and Hamao. The Viti (Fiji) Islands, 
relatively large in size, were virtually overlooked 
by Cook. They were inhabited by a race of 
warriors much more intelligent than those of 
the Friendly Islands. To show their grief for 
the illness or death of their friends, the natives 
of Tonga Island sacrificed the joints of their little 
fingers, and tore their cheeks with whale's teeth. 
As a result, nearly every one was disfigured. 

The curious expression, TahUy plays an 
important part in the language of this people. 
When anything is ''tabu," they are not allowed to 
touch it, and if the king entered a house belong- 
ing to one of his subjects, it became tabu. The 
owner forfeited it to the king, and could not 
live in it again. 

The religious ideas differed in the various 
islands, but belief in the immortality of the 
soul, and the practice of offering human sacri- 
fices were common to all. 

After leaving Tonga Islands, and being 

O.N. K 


tossed about by strong winds, Cook sighted an 
island named Tabuai. The natives approached 
in their boats, but could not be persuaded to 
come on board. The island appeared fertile, 
and Cook was told that pigs and fowls were 
plentiful, but, having plenty of provisions on 
board, he did not stop. 

The Island of Tahiti next came into view, 
and both vessels anchored at the Peninsula of 
Tairabon. In exchange for red feathers, the 
natives brought fruits, pigs, and fowls, and 
after being well supplied, Cook sailed for 
Matavai Bay. Here King Otu came to see 
his old friend. 

Cook found that human sacrifices were 
common in Tahiti. In the king^s presence, 
a man of the lowest rank was killed by blows 
from clubs, and his hair and one eye were 
placed as an offering before the king. Next 
day a great slaughter of pigs was to take place. 
This ceremony was performed to procure the 
help of one of the gods in an expedition 
against a neighbouring island. 

Cook presented the animals — geese, ducks, 
turkeys, cattle, horses, sheep, and goats — he 
had brought from Europe to Otu, who had 
built a pirogue for the King ot England, 
but it was too large to be taken on board. 
The dusky ruler was disappointed at this, 


and was at a loss how to thank Cook for the 

In January, 1778, the Sandwich or Hawaiian 
Archipelago was discovered far to the north. 
Both vessels were soon surrounded by the pirogues 
of the natives, who spoke one of the Polynesian 
languages. Next day many of them came on board, 
and showed their delight and astonishment at 
so many unknown objects. The sailors soon 
found that they were expert thieves, and had to 
watch them constantly. 

As soon as the ships had anchored in Ouai 
Mea Bay, Cook went on shore. When he 
reached land, the natives who were waiting in a 
crowd, placed themselves at his feet, and gave 
him a most respectful welcome. A party of them 
helped the crew to carry the casks of water on 
board, and fruits, pigs, fowls, and provisions 
in abundance were brought by them. 

The natives were of medium height, strong 
and vigorous. They were intelligent, clever, 
and industrious, and showed much taste for 
agriculture, while they were frank and loyal in 
disposition. In their style of dress and general 
habits they were like the Tahitians, and the 
custom of Tabu was very carefully practised. 
The population was fairly large all over the 

Cook now set his course eastward in order 


to reach America, and soon sighted the coast 
of New Albion. Keeping at a distance, Cape 
Blanc was passed, and shortly after, the latitude 
of Juan de Fuca was reached, but Cook failed 
to discover this strait. 

A bay was found, however, where the ships 
obtained water, and the crews got some rest. 
Cook called it Hope Bay, and had no sooner 
anchored than three boats approached the 
vessels. The natives made long speeches one 
after the other, and seemed eager for the 
English to land. They were friendly, but 
would not go on board. 

While the Resolution was being repaired, 
the Amerindians began to trade. They offered 
skins of animals, including bears, wolves, 
wolverines, foxes, weasels, and otters in great 
quantities. Clothes made of hemp, bags full 
of red ochre, stuff made of hair or wool, 
bows, lances, fishhooks, bits of sculptured 
wood, and ornaments made of iron and copper 
shaped like a horse-shoe, which were worn 
hung from the nose, were all used for barter. 
The natives had their faces painted, and wore 
feathers fixed on their heads. They were 
intelligent, but cunning thieves, and possibly 
cannibals. After obtaining oil and a fish like 
sardines, and having his repairs completed, 
Cook continued his voyage. He named this 


place King George's Sound, but the native name 
was Nootka. 

The ships had scarcely gained the open sea 
when a fearful storm overtook them, and the 
Resolution sprang a leak. Cook was anxious 
to find the Strait of Admiral de Fonte, but 
being carried past the supposed spot by 
the storm, he was forced to continue his 
voyage along the American coast. He came 
much into contact with the natives, and noticed 
that the canoes had been replaced by boats 
— only the framework being wood- — with seal- 
skin spread over. 

Reaching Prince William Sound, on the coast 
of Alaska, the leak of the Resolution was repaired. 
In succession the navigator saw and named 
Elizabeth and Saint Hermogene Capes, Bank's 
Point, Capes Douglas and Bede, St. Augustine's 
Mount, the River Cook, Trinity Island, and 
the group called Schumagin. Next were 
passed Bristol Bay, Round Island, Calm Point, 
Newenham Cape, and Anderson Island, so 
called because the naturalist of that name died 
there of chest disease. 

After passing King Island and Prince of 
Wales Cape, the most westerly point of North 
America, Cook sailed along the Asiatic coast. 
At last he entered Bering Strait, and the 
following week came into contact with the ice. 


He found it impossible to survey because 
of the icebergs, and though for a whole month 
he tried to find an outlet, it was useless. The 
sailors noticed that the icebergs were clear and 
transparent, only the upper parts being 
slightly porous. This caused Cook to believe 
that they were formed in the open sea, as no 
produce of the earth was visible on them. 

After repeated efforts to go farther north, 
he was forced to seek winter quarters in a 
warmer latitude, meaning to continue his 
search the following summer. He came 
back as far as the Sandwich Islands, with 
the intention of completing his survey of 
them during his stay, Maui Island, one 
of the Sandwich group, being discovered on 
the 26th November. The natives offered 
fruits, roots, potatoes, and bread-fruits, in 
exchange for nails and iron goods. 

Shortly afterwards, Hawaii was seen with its 
highest mountains tipped with snow, and the 
two vessels anchored in Karakakua Bay. The 
greatest excitement prevailed among the 
natives. The shore was covered by a curious 
multitude, while pirogues surrounded both 
vessels, Vvliich were crowded with visitors. 

Several chiefs came on board, among 
them one named Paria. He had considerable 
authority over the common people, and some 


timely presents secured his services for the 
English. Cook had formerly found the 
natives fairly honest, but on this occasion 
they proved to be sad thieves. It was discovered 
that they were being encouraged by their chiefs, 
as several of the stolen articles were found in 
their possession. Koa, a very thin old man, 
was brought on board by Paria and another 
chief named Kanina and presented to Cook. 
He put a red mantle on Cook's shoulders, and, 
after he had delivered a long speech, gave 
him a little pig. 

Never had so much homage been paid to 
Cook, and the English were greatly astonished, 
but they did not understand the reason till a 
later date. 

There was a tradition among the natives that 
a man named Rono, who lived under the 
ancient kings of Hawaii, had killed his wife., 
whom he loved, in a fit of jealousy. His grief 
drove him mad, and he went about quarrelling 
with and striking everybody. Worn out, he 
at last sailed off, promising to return one day, 
on a floating island, bringing coconuts, pigs, 
and dogs. 

Year by year they watched for Rono, and 
he became one of their gods, and the suhiect 
of their national song. Tiie high priest, Koa, 
and his son, declared that Cook wa,s the Ruau 


whom they looked for, and from that moment 
he was almost a god to the entire population. 
The priests made long speeches and addressed 
prayers to him, while the natives prostrated 
themselves when he approached. He had to 
submit to many curious ceremonies, and was 
always conducted back to his boat by four men 
who repeated long speeches, while the natives 
knelt around. 

Each time he landed, a priest walked in front 
of him announcing that Rono had landed, and 
ordering the people to prostrate themselves. 
Meanwhile the kariSy or warriors, annoyed 
the sailors by encouraging the natives to steal 
their goods. The king and his chiefs had a 
serious talk with Cook, and were very anxious 
to find out when he meant to leave. The 
seamen learned that the Hawaiians believed 
the English had come from a country where 
there was a famine, and had called at Hawaii 
to procure food. The worn and haggard looks 
of some of the crew, and the large quantities 
of provisions shipped, had led to this belief. 

Before the English left, the king invited Cook 
and Clerke to go with him to his residence. 
An immense load of yellow and red feathers, 
parcels of stuff, all kinds of vegetables, and a 
herd of pigs were given to the king from his 
subjects. This present he divided into three 


oarts, keeping one, and giving the others to the 
two captains. Soon after this both vessels de- 
parted, but the Resolution was forced to return 
for repairs in a few days. It was then seen that 
the natives were unfriendly. 

Several chiefs prevented them from helping 
the sailors to fill the casks with water. They 
began to throw stones, and Cook was forced 
to give orders to fire upon them if they persisted. 
The boat of the Discovery was stolen, and Cook 
determined to keep the king or one of the 
chiefs till the boat and other stolen articles were 
restored. Landing with some marines, he 
made his way to the king's house. The natives 
paid him great respect, and soon he met 
the king and his two sons, who were willing 
to go on board Cook's pinnace. 

One of the king's wives begged him not 
to go, and two chiefs also interfered. The 
natives surrounded the king and the captain. 
Cook was in a hurry to embark, and the king 
would have accompanied him quietly, but he 
was kept back by force. Cook walked along 
the shore to regain his boat as quickly as 
possible, but, a rumour spreading that one of 
the principal chiefs had been killed, the natives 
rose against the English, Cook being struck 
by several of them. 

He shot the nearest native and killed him, 


but immediately was surrounded, and by force 
of numbers knocked down. The natives raised 
shouts of joy when they saw him fall, and, after 
dragging his body along the shore, they attacked 
him one after the other until he no longer lived. 
The English sailors tried, but in vain, to recover 
his body, though two priests gave them part of 
it later on. 

The sight made them more anxious for re- 
venge. The natives continued to attack them 
when they landed for water, and, to punish them, 
Clerke — who had taken Cook's place — set fire 
to the abodes of the priests, and killed many 
natives who opposed him. At length the 
islanders gave over the head and hands of Cook 
to his men, who paid him the last honours 
with sad hearts. Next day traffic was resumed, 
and continued during their stay, almost as 
though nothing had happened. 

Captain Clerke completed the survey of the 
islands, sailed north to Kamchatka, and 
through Bering Strait till stopped by icebergs. 
He died of lung trouble, and Captain Gore 
took command. He touched again at Kam- 
chatka, at Canton, and at the Cape of Good 
Hope. Anchor was cast in the Thames on 
the 1st October, 1780, after more than four years' 

All England mourned the death of Captain 



Cook. The Royal Society of London struck 
a medal in his honour, and the king granted 
a pension to his widow and three sons. Cook 
was the greatest of England's navigators. His 
knowledge, the boldness of his undertakings, 
and his great perseverance, not forgetting his 
kind treatment of his crews, mark him out as 
one of the most distinguished of men. 

VI 1. — Francois de Galaup 
de La Perouse, 



We have seen how, in the time of Captain Cook, 
European nations, and particularly Great Britain 
and France, were doing their best to obtain 
colonies. The full value of such settlements 
had not been realised, but each country thought 
that the more of these foreign lands it held, the 
more powerful it would become. It was being 
learned, too, that possessions like these were 
first-rate stations for carrying on trade, and this 
helped on geographical discovery to an extent 
which otherwise would not have been possible. 

Great Britain had taken the lead by means 
of the discoveries made by Captain Cook, but 
France did not like to be left behind in the race, 
and, in 1785, a squadron of ships was formed for 
the purpose of completing the work which Cook 
had begun. The command of the expedition was 
given to Frangois de Galaup de La Perouse, an 
officer of great talents, who had already shown 
much skill in conducting a fleet through the 



dangers of Hudson Bay, in order to destroy 
the British settlements during the recent 
war. It may be noted, too, that, in this 
affair, he had treated the unlucky colonists 
with so much kindness that he earned the 
esteem even of those against whom he was 

The directions given to La Perouse 
with regard to the voyage he was to under- 
take were certainly full enough, but the 
work to be done was far too much for one 
expedition. The aim was to clear up every 
difficulty, solve every problem, and fill up all 
the blanks that remained in the charts of the 

He was to go round Cape Horn, and, on his 
way, examine the southern coasts of Sandwich 
Land and South Georgia, so as to fill in the gaps 
left by Cook in his survey of these lands. He 
was then to run to the west, and towards the 
tropics, in order to fix the exact position of 
Pitcairn Island. 

Following upon this, he was to survey the 
Solomon Islands, and the parts of New Caledonia 
which Cook had not examined, with extreme 
care. The Gulf of Carpentaria on the northern 
part of Australia was the next portion to be 
surveyed, after which he was to return to the 
Marquesas to rest. 


The second voyag"e was to include a most 
minute examination of the north-western coast 
of America, in order to discover if there was 
any connection between the seas on the east 
and on the west of the American continent. 
The Aleutian Isles were the next to be 
considered, and then the ships, having 
touched at Kamchatka, were to go by way 
of the Kurile Islands and Japan to Manilla and 

Here they were to remain awhile, in order 
to prepare for the hardest part of their 
task — the exploration of the north-eastern coast 
of Asia, of which geographers in Europe had 
but little knowledge. When the island of 
Yezo had been explored, La Perouse was to 
touch for a second time at Kamchatka, and 
then return home by way of the Ladrones. 
the Carolinas, and the Moluccas, making 
a careful survey of each group, and fixing 
the position of every coast at which he 

The work to be done in connection with 
the first part of this voyage was sufficient, 
if at all well performed, to give fame to 
the man who accomplished the task ; to 
carry out the whole plan was almost be- 
yond the power of any one person, as the 
ships were neither so well found nor so well 



prepared for such a task, as a modern vessel 
would be. 

Nevertheless, the preparations were as com* 
plete as was possible, no expense being spared, 
and nothing being wanting which science could 
supply. Two very fine frigates, the Boussole 
and the Astrolabe^ were chosen, and several 
famous men of science went out with the 
expedition, in order that as much know- 
ledge as possible might be obtained from the 

The fine manner in which the vessels 
were equipped, and the ability of those in 
command of them, ought to have made success 
certain, and every one who had anything to 
do with the voyage was full of hope as to 
the results that would be obtained. Yet the 
expedition passed through various misfortunes, 
and finally ended in a failure as great as it 
was disappointing. 

The vessels rounded Cape Horn easily, 
but the time taken was more than had 
been expected, although the weather was very 
favourable. Indeed, the voyage had been 
so tiresome that La Perouse thought it 
unwMse to set off at once across the Pacific, 
and he therefore steered for Easter Island, 
of the inhabitants of which the French 
naturalists were able to form a much better 



idea than had been the case with Captain 

The ground was well tilled, and the 
islanders, though quite as intelligent as they 
were said to be, seemed to the French neither 
so wretched nor so few in numbers as had 
been reported. They lived in villages, and, 
in some cases, the whole of the inhabitants of 
the village dwelt under one roof. The large 
houses thus occupied were about three hundred 
feet in length, and of the same shape as an 
inverted canoe. 

From Easter Island the French proceeded to 
the Sandwich Islands, in order to obtain a fresh 
stock of provisions. Nothing of importance 
happened while they were there, nor were they 
able to find out anything more about these 
islands than had already been done by English 

The hard part of the work undertaken by 
La Perouse now commenced. He set out 
to examine the north-west coast of America, 
which he reached about latitude 59° in 
June, 1786. He had only two or three 
months in which to examine this coast, as 
he was bound, by his orders, to begin the 
exploration of the north-east coast of Asia in 
the following spring. 

The point of the American coast at which he 


touched was close to Mount St. Elias, where 
Cook had been before him. The English sailor 
had examined the whole coast in a northern 
direction very carefully indeed, and La Perouse 
thought he would be better employed in ex- 
ploring the coast towards the south, where he 
might find out something new, than in going 
over again the work already done so splendidly 
by Cook, 

Soon after the French ships approached to the 
shore, a harbour with a narrow entrance was 
discovered. At first the sailors were afraid to 
attempt a passage, but the water appeared so 
calm that at length they decided to take the 
risk. They found a safe anchorage within the 
bay, though the ships were almost cast away 
in making the passage. 

Within this land-locked harbour an extra- 
ordinary sight met their eyes. All round rose 
mountains of enormous size, rough and broken, 
snow-covered, their sharp peaks towering up 
till lost in the clouds. Not a blade of grass 
was present to break the bare, gloomy 
appearance of the jagged rocks. No wind 
ruffled the surface of the water. A dull silence 
reigned around, broken only by the occasional 
fall of huge masses of ice from one or other 
of five mighty glaciers, which come to an end 
at this spot. 

O.N. L 



The French bought a small island from 
the natives, and on it built an observatory. 
They thought this spot was a fine one from 
which to trade with the natives. It was far 
enough from the settlements of the Russians, 
English, and Spaniards to prevent any com- 
plaints of poaching*' on the part of those 

So far all had been going on as well as 
could be ; there was not a single sick man 
on board the vessels, and it seemed as if 
success were about to attend every effort 
made by the members of the expedition, 
when the first of their misfortunes fell upon 

Three boats were sent to explore the 
entrance to the harbour, the officer in charge 
being warned to be very careful. The task 
committed to him was a difficult one, the 
force of the tides being very strong at the 
entrance. The officer, however, did not pay 
the attention he should have done to the 
orders he had received, and, running into 
useless danger, lost two of his boats, the 
third escaping only with extreme difficulty. 
Twenty-one persons were drowned in this 

Soon afterwards the ships proceeded to the 
Spanish-Mexican settlement at Monterey, which 



they reached about the middle of September. 
There the vessels were repaired, and the ex- 
plorers, without making any discoveries of 
much importance, crossed the Pacific Ocean in 
safety, fixing, as they did so, the positions of 
the Ladrones and the Bashi Islands. They 
came to anchor at Macao at the beginning of 
February, 1787. 



As soon as he had made preparations for his 
second year's w^ork, La Perouse sailed to 
Manilla, leaving that place at the beginning 
of April in order to explore the north-east coast 
of Asia. On his way he sailed along the coasts 
of Japan and Korea. By the middle of June he 
arrived at the shores of Amurland, and ran 
along the coast for some distance without seeing 
signs of any people. 

On going ashore the explorers were much 
astonished to find a country which seemed 
fertile and was yet without inhabitants. The 
vegetation appeared to be something like that of 
France, but was much stronger in growth. The 
mountains were covered v/ith pine trees on the 



upper parts, and, lower down, with oaks. The 
borders of the rivers and brooks were over- 
hung with maple and birch trees, while many 
natural orchards of apples and nuts were seen 
on the more level parts of the land. The 
attempts made by the French to explore this 
wonderful land had to be abandoned, as the 
height of the grass was too great to allow 
them to make satisfactory progress, and, in 
addition, some large snakes were seen, the 
sight of these creatures being enough to scare 
the explorers away. 

Setting sail again, the explorers ran to the 
east, and, before long, came to the island of 
Sakhalien. Here they had the good fortune to 
meet with some of the natives, who seemed 
kindly-disposed people. They gave their 
visitors a good deal of information as to the 
country in which they lived. One of them, being 
asked by signs to draw a map of the countries 
with which he was acquainted, began by 
marking on the west a line to represent the 
sea-coast of Amurland or the land of the 
Manchus. Continuing his drawing, he gave 
the French explorers such information that La 
Perouse was able from it to make the passage 
of the strait which later bore his name — La 
Perouse Strait. 

The discoveries made by La Perouse were 


of the utmost importance. The island of 
SakhaHen is a large one (24,560 square miles 
in area), but so little was known about it at the 
time, even by the Russians, who claimed to have 
a special knowledge of these waters, that 
some people ventured to deny its existence 
altogether. Yezo, too, about which various 
fables had gathered, now began to appear 
as a reality. 

When La Perouse came to Kamchatka, 
he received from the natives a very kind 
welcome. Here he had his ships refitted, 
and obtained permission from the governor to 
allow M. Lesseps, a Frenchman, who had gone 
with the expedition as Russian interpreter, 
to pass to Europe overland. By him were sent 
full accounts of the voyages made by the expedi- 
tion, as far as it had gone. Lesseps reached 
Europe, and was able to convey much informa- 
tion to the western continent, regarding lands 
as yet but little known. He was the first 
to travel completely across the old world ; 
and he was the uncle of the great de Lesseps, 
who cut the Suez Canal. 

Having again put to sea, La P6rouse crossed 
the line for the third time, and arrived at the 
Navigators' Islands (Samoa). The natives of these 
parts were strong, handsome men of unusual 
height. The smaller size of the Frenchmen led the 



natives to look down on them as a race ol 
little people. 

In dealing with these tribes the French were 
always most forbearing and cautious, and, by 
means of their tactful manner, succeeded in 
obtaining a stock of fresh provisions and water. 
La Perouse, whose mind does not appear to 
have been easy with regard to the intentions 
of the natives, was anxious to get away from 
the place. The captain of the Astrolabe 
having discovered, as he thought, a safe 
harbour, into which a stream of fresh water 
ran, made up his mind that he would lay in 
a further supply, and boats from both the 
ships with sixty-three well-armed sailors set off 
to obtain it. 

The harbour, however, proved to be 
dangerous on account of the number of coral 
rocks lying at its mouth. It was, besides, so 
shallow that the boats were able only with 
much difficulty to get near the beach. Despite 
these difficulties, the sailors began to fill their 

Meanwhile, however, the natives had begun 
to gather on the shore, and their appearance 
was distinctly hostile. At first they gave some 
assistance in the work, but, as their numbers 
grew, they became insolent, and made an ugly 
rush at the sailors. The men retreated to 



the small boats, which alone were able to 
approach the shore, and, in this position, 
they were not able to use their firearms with 

The natives now threw hug'e stones at the 
boats, which were soon destroyed. All the 
sailors who did not swim to the cutters which 
lay at some distance off were cruelly murdered. 
The men were very anxious that La Perouse 
should take revenge for this attack, but, fear- 
ing that worse might come of it, he refused, 
and sailed from the spot. 

This second misfortune, sudden as it was, 
threw a gloom over the company, and tended 
to make the Frenchmen much more cautious in 
dealing with native races. It may also have 
caused La Perouse not to touch at the Friendly 
Islands (Tonga). Continuing on his way he 
arrived at Norfolk Island, where his naturalists 
were not able to effect a landing. 

From Norfolk Island he sailed to Botany 
Bay, where his sailors were well pleased to 
see some British men-of-war. These ships 
were there for the purpose of establishing a 
new colony, and from both settlers and sailors 
La Perouse received the greatest kindness. 
When the British ships set sail for home. La 
Perouse sent by them the remainder of the 
papers relating to his voyage. In the spring 


of 1787 he sailed from Botany Bay, and that 
was the last heard of him for nearly forty 

La Perouse was a thorough admirer of Captain 
Cook, and, like him, did everything in his 
power to keep his men in good health. There 
was but little sickness on board the French 
ships, and the two fatal accidents, at the 
Navigator's Islands and on the American coast, 
were due, not to any defect in the arrangements 
made by La Perouse, but to the impulsiveness 
of those with whom he had to deal. 

That part of the coast of America which Cook 
had not been able to survey, namely the north- 
west, was examined by La Perouse ; and his 
survey, when joined with those of the Spaniards 
and the English, completely outlined the coast 
of that continent. 

His discoveries on the coast of Tartary were 
even more important, and, when the difficulties 
with which he had to contend are taken into 
account, place him in the front rank of those 
who have done good work in extending our 
knowledge of the earth on which we live. 




When two years had passed beyond the date 
fixed for the return of La Perouse, the French 
set expeditions on foot for the purpose of search- 
ing for the lost mariner, and asked the other 
nations of Europe to help them by keeping a 
good look-out in the South Seas, 

In particular, two ships were equipped by 
the King of France and sent to look for the 
missing expedition. The command of the search 
party was given to Admiral d'Entrecasteaux. 

From information received by the admiral, 
it was thought possible that the unfortunate 
sailors had been cast away among the Admiralty 
Isles, but, on proceeding there, he found nothing 
to justify the belief that La Perouse had been 
wrecked in that district. 

Now, before leaving Botany Bay, La Perouse 
wrote a letter stating the route he m^nt to 
follow in the voyage he was on the point of 
undertaking. The admiral thought he could 
not do better than start from Botany Bay and 
trace out the route that the explorer had actually 
followed. By that means he would be more 
likely to discover what had become of his lost 



The French admiral, however, found no traces 
of the expedition, although he examined as 
many natives as he could reach. He therefore 
resolved to return home. On his way he 
saw an island, which, by some strange mis- 
chance, he had not examined as closely as was 
his custom. Soon afterwards he died, as did 
the officer who w^as second in command. Then 
the crews began to suffer from illness, and so 
severe was the sickness that, before the expedi- 
tion arrived at Java, about a third of the men 
had been carried off. When they came to that 
port, the ships were seized by the Dutch as 
prizes of war, and it was then the officers learned 
for the first time of the Revolution which had 
taken place in France. 

Thus the expedition of d'Entrecasteaux was 
only a little less unfortunate than that of which 
it went in search, while the disturbed state of 
France prevented any further attempts being 
made just then to find out what had happened 
to the missing explorers. 

In September, 1813, an English vessel, the 
Hunter y touched at the Fiji Islands in order to 
procure a cargo of sandal-wood. At the time of 
which we are speaking, the Fiji Islands (Viti) 
were not nearly so civilised at they are at the 
present day. The Europeans who traded with 
the natives w^ere, as a rule, men of the very 


roughest class, who not seldom aided the tribes 
in their battles with one another. Many of 
them lived among the natives and adopted 
their customs. 

While the Hunter lay in harbour taking 
in her cargo, a massacre took place on shore, 
nearly all the white men who were living there 
being killed. One of them, however, Martin 
Bushart by name, took refuge on board the 
Hunter^ and begged to be put on shore at the 
first suitable island they saw. One of the officers 
of the Hunter^ a man called Dillon, had a 
narrow escape from the Fiji Islanders at the 
time when the massacre occurred. Bushart 
and two companions were left in the Queen 
Charlotte Islands, where they were kindly treated 
by the natives. 

In the summer of 1826, Dillon, now a captain, 
was again in these waters, and, being curious 
to know what had happened to his companions 
who had been left behind, determined to go 
ashore. As he approached, Bushart came in 
a canoe to meet him. 

From him Dillon learned that in the island 
he had found axes, knives, tea-cups, iron bolts, 
and some other things, all of French manu- 
facture. He also said that no ship had called 
at the island before the Hunter^ and that all 
these things had been brought from the island 



of Manikolo, which was two days' sail to the 
westward. The natives, he continued, had told 
him that many years ago two ships had been 
wrecked on the shores of Manikolo. The crew 
of one of the vessels had been killed, but the 
sailors in the other ship escaped. 

For some time the shipwrecked sailors re- 
mained on the island, and then, having built 
a boat, went away. Two of these Europeans 
were said to have remained behind on Manikolo, 
and Bushart, tired of living among savages, 
said he was willing to aid in the search for 
them, if Dillon cared to enter upon it. 

Now, this island of Manikolo was no other 
than that which had not been closely explored 
by Admiral d'Entrecasteaux. When Dillon 
came near to it the wind died down, pro- 
visions began to run short, and the delay 
was doing harm to the trade he ought to 
have been carrying on. He therefore left the 
search for the present, but, on his arrival 
in India, let the authorities know what he had 

In the end, he was given command of a 
vessel, and sent to see whether he could dis- 
cover what had actually happened to the 
unfortunate La Perouse. From conversations 
with the natives, he learned that they had not 
killed the crew of one of the ships, but they 



hardly denied that they were hostile to the 
survivors while they were on the island. 

The islanders were fierce by nature, and 
their want of knowledge regarding the customs 
and habits of the French made them look 
upon the white men as spirits. They im- 
agined that the Frenchmen were talking with 
the sun and stars, when they saw the telescope 
being used, while the cocked hats of the 
foreigners made the natives believe that the 
noses of the white men were a yard long. 

Captain Dillon did his best to gather as many 
as possible of the relics of the ill-fated expedition, 
and among them he obtained a ship's bell 
with the inscription Bazin fn*a faitj that is, 
Bazin made me. 

In 1828 Dillon arrived in Paris with all 
the relics he had been able to collect, and 
was rewarded with a pension of 4000 francs. 

VI 11 . — Captain George 



All who took any interest in geographical 
discovery felt greatly excited when the news 
of the wonderful voyages made by Captain 
Cook came to be known. The new lands of 
which he told the world would, it was ex- 
pected, be of vast use for trading purposes, 
and the excitement was further increased, when 
people began to understand what a fine trade 
in furs was lying ready to be developed 
between China and the north-west coasts of 

We have already seen that the Russians 
had been quietly working in that direction 
for a long time past. It was only of 
recent years, however, they had endeavoured 
to obtain their furs from America. When 
they first began to trade, they had been 
content to obtain the furs from Siberia ; but 
the large number of fur-bearing animals 
found in that part of North America with 


which they were acquainted caused them to 
turn their attention to the eastern side of 
Behring Strait, in the hope that, by so doing, 
they would be repaid for their trouble by 
the increased number of skins which would 
come into their hands. 

What they expected came to pass. Vast 
numbers of skins were cured, and, hav- 
ing been sent from the Fox Islands where 
they were obtained, were passed on to 
Kamchatka, and, after going through many 
hands, arrived in China, where they were sold 
at big prices. 

The Spaniards, who also had settlements 
near enough at hand to make this trade 
pay, were too inactive to trouble about the 
matter. The Russians had too little ex- 
perience in trading to understand just what 
ought to be done, and, therefore, it remained 
for the English to come half way round the 
world and pick up the valuable trade lying 
ready to their hands. They saw, as neither 
the Spaniards nor the Russians did, that the 
proper w^ay to hold the fur trade was to 
take the skins straight from America to 
China, without passing them through the hands 
of so many people. 

In 1784, the last volume dealing with the 
voyages of Captain Cook was published. 



and in it Captain King told of the large 
profits to be made in the fur trade. Perhaps 
as a result of this, a ship was sent out 
from Canton, under the command of Captain 
Hanna. After crossing the Sea of Japan, 
he arrived at Nootka Sound, the place 
thought to be the best mart in which to 
obtain furs. 

Going to the north, he found several fine 
harbours, and, at the end of the year, re- 
turned to China with a rich cargo of pelts. 
This was the beginning of the direct fur trade 
with China, a trade which soon spread very 

Next year Captain Hanna again set out on 
a similar errand, and this time procured as 
tine a cargo as before. The trade thus begun 
from Canton was carried on for some time 
from that town, which was well situated for the 

In 1786, however, two ships sailed from 
Bombay for Nootka Sound, and expeditions 
from Bengal soon followed in their wake. Thus 
India was now beginning to take part in the 
trade, and the merchants who were far-seeing 
enough to send out vessels, quickly reaped the 
benefit of their enterprise. 

Of course, everything did not go smoothly. 
Some ships were wrecked, and many of 

Captain Geoigo Vancouver. 


the sailors had to endure great hardships. 
Captain Meares, in the Nootka^ arriving 
in Prince William Sound, was obliged 
to spend the winter there. No less than 
twenty-three of his men died, but the very 
fact that white men had spent a winter 
on shore had a good effect, as it tended to 
bring the English and the natives into closer 
contact. Thus each began to know the other 
better than before, and the result was an 
increase in the trade done between the two 
sets of men. 

Captain Meares had sailed from Macao, so 
that there were two centres from which the 
trade was carried on. But, if the English 
merchants at Macao and in India were the first 
to engage steadily in the fur trade, they did 
so merely because their position gave them 
2in advantage over any rivals, who might 
seek to share with them the enormous profits 
of that trade. 

Some of the merchants in England were not 
disposed to lose such an opportunity of gaining 
wealth, and, to strengthen themselves for the 
task, they formed, in the year 1785, an associa- 
tion called '^The King George*s Sound Com- 
pany." The members of this association 
arranged matters with the South Sea and East 
India Companies, 


At that time, certain companies possessed the 
sole right of trading in certain goods, or with 
certain places. That means that the companies 
were able to prevent any persons from trading 
in the article of which they had the monopoly, 
or from sending ships to trade with those 
countries over the commerce of which they 
held control. 

These monopolies were bad things for 
trade, as, though the company holding the 
monopoly might not be able to carry on 
the trade for which it existed, it was, never- 
theless, able to prevent all other persons 
from attempting to do so. Then, a monopoly 
might be granted over some article of 
common use, such as salt. Since there was 
no competition, the company holding the 
monopoly might charge whatever it thought 
fit, and thus poor people could not satisfy even 
their most pressing needs, because the price 
was beyond them. It is only fair to add that 
the companies generally had to pay the govern- 
ment a large sum of money for the privilege 
they obtained. 

The South Sea Company had the sole right 
of trade in the South Seas, and the East India 
Company had control of the trade with India. 
The new company bought the required privileges 
from the two companies just mentioned, and, 


in 1785, sent out two ships to begin the 

They reached the north-west coast of America 
in 1786, and then went on to the Sandwich 
Islands to pass the winter, the captains 
thinking it better to do this than to risk 
having the men laid up through exposure 
to the severity of the North American 
winter. In the spring of 1787 they returned 
to the coast of America, and, lest they 
might interfere with one another in their 
bargains with the natives, they took different 

During the course of their traffic, each of 
the vessels examined carefully the coasts 
near which they sailed. One of the captains, 
Dixon by name, visited Nootka Sound at 
the end of the voyage, and while there 
met some English ships belonging to his 
employers. From the sailors he obtained the 
information that the time for trading was over 
for that season. As it was useless to remain 
if no trade could be done, he weighed anchor, 
and set sail for the Sandwich Islands, where 
he joined the other vessel, under Captain 

Up till this time the vessels engaged in the 
fur trade had confined their attention to the 
places mentioned by Cook, such places, for 


instance, as Nootka Sound, and Prince William 
Sound ; but Dixon and Portlock took a much 
wider view of their commission. Their enter- 
prise had its reward, as they came upon shores 
as yet untouched by Europeans, where the 
natives, unused to the visits of merchants, 
bartered their furs at a more reasonable 

As a result, their cargoes were richer 
than ever before. The important point, so 
far as geography is concerned with these 
voyages, lies in the fact that the heavy 
cargoes of furs obtained by the two enter- 
prising captains was the means of increasing 
not merely the trade with the north-west 
of America, but our knowledge of the coast 

As the fur trade grew in importance, 
the attention of all nations which possessed 
a navy was attracted to it. The United 
States, which had just gained its independ- 
ence, began to take part in the scramble for 
the wealth to be derived from the fur trade, 
and other nations joined in, but, in spite of 
all, the British ships held their own in the 

In the eighteenth century Spain retained 
but a shadow of its former greatness, yet, 
indolent though the nation was, it was 


hardly to be expected that the Spaniards 
would see the other nations of Europe, 
even semi -savage Russia, passing them, 
without making at least some effort to obtain 
a share of the trade. Accordingly they sent 
out a good number of expeditions to take 
part in this newly established venture, and, 
if possible, to seize some territory on the 
American coast, which might be of use as a 
centre to which the natives could come to 
barter their goods. 

So much had the Spaniards fallen be- 
hind in the art of navigation, that, on 
one of the last voyages undertaken for this 
purpose, they imagined themselves on the 
coast of Kamchatka, and were in terror of 
the Russians, when, as a matter of fact, 
they were in Prince William Sound. The 
fruitless attempts of the Spaniards to find 
their way about a coast which, before long, 
was navigated each year by small vessels 
from Europe, are quite sufficient to show how^ 
far back they now were in the art that had 
brought them into the forefront of European 

This was really the fault of the Spaniards 
themselves, as, in order to keep all the 
commerce of the New World in their own 
hands, they had been quite willing that 


ignorance should prevail as to the exact 
position on the earth's surface their settlements 
occupied. Unluckily for them, though their 
G vn people were indifferent, those of other lands 
were not, and the result was that rival nations 
picked up the knowledge Spain was foolish 
enough to drop. 

At last the Spaniards, waking up from 
their indolence, determined to found another 
empire, in North America this time, by 
means of which they might have some 
chance of obtaining a share in the fur trade ; 
but they were too late in entering the race, 
and the methods of the sixteenth century 
were not fitted for the eighteenth. They 
had the daring to seize Nootka Sound, 
and expected they would be allowed to 
retain it. 

When they did this, Great Britain was 
on the point of sending out another ex- 
pedition to that very district. Preparations 
were at once stopped, and a number of 
men-of-war placed in commission, for news 
had been brought that not only had the 
Spaniards taken possession of Nootka Sound, 
but they had seized the Argonaut^ an 
English vessel lying there. The fear of 
the British Navy had its effect on the 
Spaniards, and they gave up Nootka Sound 



as a British possession, and released the 
A rgonaut. 

Because of the importance attached to 
Nootka Sound on account of the fur trade 
and the fishing carried on within its waters, 
it was thought necessary to have a formal 
cession of it. For this purpose, Captain 
Vancouver, who was to have commanded the 
expedition that had been stopped through the 
actions of the Spaniards, was ordered to 
proceed to Nootka Sound, and see that the 
Spaniards kept their word. 


Vancouver's voyage. 

Captain Vancouver sailed in the Dis- 
covery in 1791, and was accompanied by 
Captain Broughton, in the Chatham^ a 
small ship of 135 tons burden. His in- 
structions were to see that there was no 
doubt about the cession of the territory the 
Spaniards had seized, and, having satisfied 
himself on this point, to survey the whole of 
the north-west coast lying between 30° and 6i' 
north latitude. 

He was to fix his attention on two main 


objects. It was thought there might be a 
passage or passages connecting the north- 
western and the north-eastern coasts of 
America. This was the first point of which 
he was to make certain. In the second place, 
he was to find out how many European 
settlements were already on the coast. 
Every inlet, let it be ever so small, he 
was to examine with care, but was not to 
trouble about rivers unnavigable for ships 
large enough to go out to the Pacific Ocean 
from England. 

On his return voyage he was to survey 
the coast of South America, from latitude 
44° S. to Cape Horn. It is rather pleasant 
to record the fact that, though Great Britain 
was sending out this expedition mainly for the 
purpose of receiving the cession of Nootka 
Sound from the Spaniards, Vancouver was 
instructed that, should he find traders of 
other nations, and particularly if they were 
Spaniards, he was to show them every 
kindness. Not only so, but if he met with 
any Spanish sailors engaged in surveying the 
same coasts as himself, he was to render 
them all the assistance in his power, offer- 
ing them the full and free use of all his 
maps, and hiding nothing from them of any 
discoveries he might have made. 


On his outward voyage Vancouver sur- 
veyed much of the coast of Austraha, 
where he made the discovery of King 
George the Third Sound. At New 
Zealand he was successful in completing 
the surveys of those parts left unfinished by 

After being separated from the Chatham 
by a gale, and making some minor dis- 
coveries, he rejoined Captain Broughton, 
who, in the meantime, had discovered 
Chatham Island. As they approached Nootka 
Sound they fell in with Captain Gray, who 
was said to have passed through the Straits 
of Fuca into an open sea beyond. Gray, 
however, explained that was not quite true, 
and Vancouver, entering the strait, sailed up 
for a considerable distance, and cast anchor 
farther within it than any seaman had done 
before him. 

So far, he had examined two hundred 
miles of coast so closely that the break- 
ing of the surf on the shore was never out 
of sight. With the character of the country 
he was charmed. Wherever he cast his 
eyes, trees appeared as if the land had been 
an English park. Roses grew in abundance 
among the brushwood. Here and there the 
country, which appeared to be fertile, opened 


out into wide-stretching meadows, while, 
on the mainland, were miles upon miles of 
forest land, the oak being one of the most 
common trees. 

The natives sold a deer to the sailors 
for a small piece of copper about a foot 
square, as they thought more of that metal 
than they did of iron. It was made plain to 
the Englishmen that these natives were not 
cannibals, though there must have been 
some of that class of people near at hand, 
as, when the sailors made a venison pasty, 
the natives showed the most marked signs of 
disgust and horror, and it was not easy to 
convince them that the white pasty was not the 
flesh of men. 

Making his way to the north through 
this passage, Vancouver met two Spanish 
ships employed, as he himself was, in 
making a careful survey of the coast. In 
accordance with the instructions he haa 
received on leaving England, Vancouver 
offered to aid the Spaniards in any way he 
was able. 

The Spanish commander thought the 
best plan would be for the two forces to 
join, and work together, which they did. 
The island close to which Nootka Sound is 
situated is now called Vancouver, but, at 


first, so well did the two seamen work to- 
gether that the island was named Vancouver 
and Quadra Island, after the names of the two 

On arriving- at Nootka Sound, some difficulty 
arose between the Spanish commander and 
Vancouver as to the terms upon which the 
district was to be handed over to Great Britain. 
In consequence of this, Vancouver sent Captain 
Broughton home to acquaint the government 
with what had happened. 

While Broughton was away, Vancouver ex- 
plored the Columbia River, as far as it was 
navigable for a small vessel — which was what 
he had been told to do on leaving England. 
He found that the natives of the district through 
which the Columbia ran were like those of 
Nootka Sound in dress and appearance, but 
not in language. Some of them were fairly 
civilised, and their buildings were constructed 
with taste. 

Their houses were large, and covered with 
planks about twenty feet long and two wide, 
perfectly smooth, the timbers to which they 
were joined being well fixed together. On 
the front of these houses was painted a hideous 
figure of a human face, the mouth being about 
three feet in height and two in width, the whole 
face forming the door of the house. 


At the beginning of 1793 Vancouver went 
to the Sandwich Islands to pass the winter, 
returning again to the American coast the 
next spring. He continued to survey the coast 
during the rest of the year, and, when winter 
came again, sailed once more to the Sandwich 

Vancouver's presence in these islands was 
not without its influence. By that time the 
islanders had become acquainted with three or 
four European nations. They had also learned 
that there were others nearly as powerful, and 
they felt within themselves that it was only 
a question of time when they should become 
the subjects of one or other of them. 

One of their chiefs, Tame-Tame-hah, had 
a profound reverence for Vancouver, and he 
proposed that the islanders should become 
subjects of the nation to which Vancouver 
belonged. A large gathering of chiefs was 
held, the proposal of Tame-Tame-hah was 
accepted, and Hawaii was given up to the 
King of Great Britain. 

This happened in the winter of 1794, and, 
in the spring of the same year, Vancouver 
once more approached the American coast to 
finish the survey he had begun. Entering 
Cook River, he found that it was only an inlet, 
with no tributary stream to justify tlie name it 


had received. Cruising to the south, he met a 
fleet of skin canoes, so frail-looking that he 
was surprised to see them in those waters. 
Each of the little vessels held two men, the 
fleet numbering two hundred vessels in all. 
The natives were clothed in the skins of birds 
and beasts of little or no value, their warm fur 
garments having all been disposed of to 

By the end of August the survey had been 
completed, and, in October of the following 
year, the ships were back in the Thames, bad 
weather having prevented the survey of the 
western coast of Patagonia. During the four 
vears that the ships were employed on the 
voyage, Vancouver surveyed more than nine 
thousand miles of unknown and dangerous 
coasts, much of this work having to be done 
in small boats. That only two men died during 
the four years is a tribute to the care which 
Vancouver took of his crew ; but he himself 
v^as not very fortunate, as the severe exertions 
he had to make injured his health to such an 
extent that he never really recovered. 

The account of his voyage was printed, but 
before the last volume was issued from the 
press, Vancouver died. His death, in 
May 1798, was a serious loss to the country 
for which he had done so fine a work ; even 


had he discovered less than he did, he would 
have been worthy of an honourable place among 
those who have increased our geographical 
knowledge : as it is, the excellence of the 
work he did, and its vast extent, place him 
by the side of such sailors and discoverers as 
Drake, Cook, Raleigh, Da Gama, and even 
Col urn by^ 



17. Potatoes. The native 

home of the potato is not 
known, but it was pro- 
bably the mountain 
regions of North-west 
South America. Ages 
before the Spaniards 
entered the New World 
the plant had been used 
by the Peruvians and 
other nations of the Andes; 
but Spanish sailors were 
probably the first to bring 
it into Europe. 

It seems to have been 
brought to Spain about 
the beginning of the six- 
teenth century, and to 
have spread from that 
country to the Nether- 
lands and Italy, though 
it was used first, not as a 
food but as a curious 
garden plant. 

Hawkins was probably 
the first man to bring the 
potato into England, after 
his second voyage in 1564. 
Sir Francis Drake brought 
some home in 1586, and 
Raleigh is said to have 
cultivated the plant both 
at Hayes in Devon and 
Youghal in Ireland. 

47. Philip II. was the only 

son of the Emperor 
Charles V. and Isabella of 
Portugal. He was born 
in 1527 and died in 1598. 

His life is closely con- 
nected with English 
history, as he was the 
husband of Queen Mary. 

For fourteen months 
after the marriage he 
lived in England, and did 
his best to win the people 
to his side, but failed in 
the attempt. After Mary 
had died, and Elizabeth 
was on the throne, he was 
one of the many suitors 
for the hand of the 

He is further connected 
with our history, as he was 
the cause of the despatch 
of the famous Armada 
against England. 

Philip II. was not an 
admirable person. He 
was sullen and suspicious 
by nature, trusting no 
man, but endeavouring 
to carry out his plans 
without help, a.nd using 
his soldiers, sailors, and 
statesmen as the mere 
creatures of his will. 

48. Plans in the Nether- 
lands . Philip was engaged 
in a long, cruel struggle 
with the Netherlands, his 
object being to crush the 
liberty of the people and 
make them return to the 
Catholic faith. Elizabeth, 
ia a quiet fashion, allowed 



Englishmen to help the 
Netherlanders in their 
fight against the power of 
Spain, and Philip resented 

60. Ev/aiponoma. Men 
whose heads were said to 
grow in their shoulders, 
their mouths being in their 
breasts. The belief arose 
from the peculiar head- 
dress worn by the natives, 
and the story was held as 
true by very many people 
in England. OtheUo (Act 
i. sc. iii.) speaks of — 
*' The Anthropophagi, 
and men v/hose heads 
Do grow beneath their 

69. The Missionaries. The 
early history of Canada 
abounds with tales of 
heroism and daring per- 
formed by French mission- 
aries, who went to the 
newly discovered land in 
order to convert the Amer- 
indians to Christianity. 

74. A League. The idea of 
forming a league of all the 
Amerindians in the district 
was a good one, and La 
Salle's success in per- 
suading the natives to 
fall in with his plans 
proves him to have been 


well litted for the post he 

86. William the Mosquito. 

More than one such tale 
is told of the time of the 
Buccaneers. T' e classi- 
cal instance is th story of 
Alexander Selkii , who 
was left on Juan nan- 
dez by Captain Stiadling 
just as the Mosquito Amer- 
indian had been, and 
was rescue'^ by Captain 
Rogers afte Hving on the 
island for four years and 
four m^onths. From this 
material, Defoe wrote the 
famous Robinson Crusoe. 

91. The Advance to China. 

Prior to this time the Polos 
travelled from Venice to 
China in the 13th century, 
and, after living there for 
many years, returned to 

181. Spain and Navigation. 
Under Philip II. Spain 
reached the hei '"^t of its 
power and begu.x to de- 
cay. Its sailors were to 
be found on all seas ; 
during the seventeeth and 
eighteenth centuries the 
country lost its greatness, 
and the sailors had not 
the daring possessed by 
those of the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries.